Everyone recognizes that exercising and keeping yourself in shape is good for your overall health but you may not realize that losing weight is also good for your hearing.
Research reveals children and adults who are overweight are more likely to cope with hearing loss and that eating healthy and exercising can help fortify your hearing. It will be easier to make healthy hearing choices for you and your whole family if you know about these associations.
Obesity And Adult Hearing
Women had a higher risk of developing hearing loss, according to a study done by Brigham And Women’s Hospital, if they have a high body mass index (BMI). The connection between height and body fat is what BMI measures. The higher the number the higher the body fat. The higher the BMI of the 68,000 women in the study, the higher their hearing impairment amount. The participants who were the most overweight were as much as 25 % more likely to experience hearing impairment!
In this study, waist size also turned out to be a dependable indicator of hearing loss. With women, as the waist size increases, the chance of hearing loss also increases. As a final point, participants who engaged in regular physical activity had a decreased incidence of hearing loss.
Children’s Hearing And Obesity
Research conducted by Columbia University’s Medical Center revealed that obese teenagers had about twice the risk of developing hearing loss in one ear when compared to non-obese teenagers. These children experienced sensorineural hearing loss, which is a result of damage to sensitive hair cells in the inner ear that convey sound. This damage resulted in a decreased ability to hear sounds at low frequencies, which makes it hard to hear what people are saying in crowded places, like classrooms.
Children usually don’t notice they have a hearing issue so when they have hearing loss it’s particularly worrisome. There will be an increasing risk that the issue will get worse as they become an adult if it’s not treated.
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 some of the health issues related to obesity and linked to hearing loss.
The inner ear’s anatomy is very sensitive – comprised of a series of small capillaries, nerve cells, and other fragile parts that must remain healthy to work effectively and in unison. It’s crucial to have strong blood flow. This process can be hindered when obesity causes narrowing of the blood vessels and high blood pressure.
The cochlea is a part of the inner ear that receives sound vibrations and transmits them to the brain for interpretation. The cochlea can be harmed if it doesn’t get the proper blood flow. If the cochlea gets damaged, it’s usually irreversible.
Is There Anything You Can do?
Women who remained healthy and exercised frequently, according to a Brigham and Women’s Hospital study, had a 17% lowered likelihood of getting hearing loss compared to women who didn’t. You don’t have to run a marathon to decrease your risk, however. Walking for two or more hours each week resulted in a 15% reduced risk of hearing loss than walking for less than an hour.
Your entire family will benefit from eating better, as your diet can positively affect your hearing beyond the benefits gained from weight loss. If there is a child in your family who has some extra weight, get together with your family members and put together a routine to help them shed some pounds. You can teach them exercises that are enjoyable for kids and work them into family get-togethers. They might like the exercises enough to do them on their own!
Talk to a hearing professional to find out if any hearing loss you might be experiencing is associated with your weight. Weight loss stimulates better hearing and help is available. Your hearing professional will determine your level of hearing loss and advise you on the best plan of action. A regimen of exercise and diet can be recommended by your primary care doctor if needed.