Everybody knows that exercising and keeping yourself in shape is good for your general health but you may not realize that losing weight is also good for your hearing.
Studies have established that exercising and eating healthy can reinforce your hearing and that individuals who are overweight have a higher chance of getting hearing loss. It will be easier to make healthy hearing decisions for you and your whole family if you learn about these associations.
Adult Hearing And Obesity
Women had a higher risk of developing hearing loss, according to research carried out by Brigham And Women’s Hospital, if they have a high body mass index (BMI). The connection between body fat and height 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 loss incidence. The heaviest people in the study had a 25% greater instance of hearing loss.
In this study, waist size also turned out to be a dependable indicator of hearing loss. With women, as the waist size increases, the risk of hearing loss also increases. Lastly, 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 revealed that obese teenagers had about twice the risk of developing hearing loss in one ear when compared to non-obese teenagers. These children suffered sensorineural hearing loss, which is caused by damage to sensitive hair cells in the inner ear that convey sound. This damage makes it difficult to hear what people are saying in a noisy setting like a classroom because it diminishes the ability to hear lower frequencies.
Hearing loss in children is especially worrisome because kids often don’t recognize they have a hearing issue. There will be an increasing risk that the issue will get worse as they become an adult if it goes unaddressed.
What is The Connection?
Obesity is associated with several health problems and researchers suspect that its connection with hearing loss and tinnitus lies with these health issues. Poor circulation, diabetes, and high blood pressure are all linked to hearing loss and are often caused by obesity.
The sensitive inner ear is made up of various delicate parts including nerve cells, little capillaries, and other parts that will stop working correctly if they aren’t kept healthy. Good blood flow is crucial. High blood pressure and the narrowing of blood vessels caused by obesity can hamper this process.
Reduced blood flow can also damage the cochlea, which receives sound waves and transmits nerve impulses to the brain so you can distinguish what you’re hearing. If the cochlea is damaged, it’s usually irreversible.
Is There Anything You Can do?
Women who remained healthy and exercised regularly, according to a Brigham and Women’s Hospital study, had a 17% lowered likelihood of developing hearing loss compared to women who didn’t. You don’t have to run a marathon to lower your risk, however. Walking for two or more hours every week resulted in a 15% lower chance of hearing loss than walking for under an hour.
Beyond weight loss, a better diet will, of itself, help your hearing which will benefit your whole family. If there is a child in your family who has some extra weight, get together with your family members and put together a program to help them shed some pounds. You can incorporate this program into family gatherings where you all will do exercises that are fun for kids. They might enjoy the exercises enough to do them on their own!
Talk to a hearing professional to determine if any hearing loss you may be experiencing is associated with your weight. Better hearing can be the result of weight loss and there’s help available. Your hearing specialist will identify your level of hearing loss and advise you on the best plan of action. A program of exercise and diet can be suggested by your primary care doctor if necessary.