Everybody recognizes that exercising and keeping yourself in shape is good for your overall health but you may not know that losing weight is also good for your hearing.
Studies have established that exercising and healthy eating can improve your hearing and that people who are overweight have a higher risk of experiencing hearing loss. It will be easier to make healthy hearing choices for you and your whole family if you understand these connections.
Obesity And Adult Hearing
A Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s study revealed women with a high body mass index (BMI) were at an increased danger of experiencing hearing loss. BMI calculates the connection between body fat and height, with a higher number meaning higher body fat. Of the 68,000 women who took part in the study, the level of hearing loss increased as BMI increased. The participants who were the most overweight were as much as 25 percent more likely to have hearing loss!
In this study, waist size also ended up being a dependable indicator of hearing impairment. With women, as the waist size gets bigger, the risk of hearing loss also increases. As a final point, participants who took part in regular physical activity had a decreased incidence of hearing loss.
Children’s Hearing And Obesity
Research conducted by Columbia University’s Medical Center confirmed that obese teenagers had almost double the risk of developing hearing loss in one ear when compared to non-obese teenagers. These children suffered sensorineural hearing loss, which is a result of damage to sensitive hair cells in the inner ear that carry sound. This damage led to a decreased ability to hear sounds at low frequencies, which makes it hard to understand what people are saying in crowded settings, like classrooms.
Hearing loss in children is especially worrisome because kids frequently don’t realize they have a hearing problem. If the issue isn’t addressed, there is a risk the hearing loss may get worse when they become adults.
What is The Connection?
Researchers suspect that the association between obesity and hearing loss and tinnitus is based on the health symptoms linked to obesity. Poor circulation, diabetes, and high blood pressure are all linked to hearing loss and are often caused by obesity.
The inner ear’s workings are very sensitive – composed of a series of little capillaries, nerve cells, and other delicate parts that need to remain healthy to work correctly and in unison. Good blood flow is crucial. High blood pressure and the narrowing of blood vessels caused by obesity can impede this process.
Reduced blood flow can also damage the cochlea, which receives vibrations and sends nerve impulses to the brain so you can recognize what you’re hearing. If the cochlea gets damaged, it’s normally irreversible.
Is There Anything You Can do?
Women who stayed healthy and exercised frequently, according to a Brigham and Women’s Hospital study, had a 17% reduced likelihood of getting hearing loss versus women who didn’t. You don’t need to run a marathon to lower your risk, however. The simple routine of walking for at least two hours every week can reduce your chance of hearing loss by 15%.
Your whole family will benefit from eating better, as your diet can positively impact your hearing beyond the advantages gained through weight loss. If you have a child or grandchild in your family who is obese, talk about steps your family can take to promote a healthier lifestyle. You can incorporate this routine into family get-togethers where you all will do exercises that are fun for kids. They may like the exercises enough to do them on their own!
Talk to a hearing professional to figure out if any hearing loss you may be experiencing is associated with your weight. Better hearing can come from weight loss and there’s help available. This individual can do a hearing exam to confirm your suspicions and advise you on the measures necessary to deal with your hearing loss symptoms. A regimen of exercise and diet can be recommended by your primary care physician if necessary.