How Your Hearing is Impacted by Your Weight

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Everybody knows 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.

Research shows 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 decisions for you and your whole family if you learn about these connections.

Obesity And Adult Hearing

Women are more likely to experience hearing loss, according to research done by Brigham And Women’s Hospital, if they have a high body mass index (BMI). The relationship 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 incidence. The heaviest people in the study had a 25% higher instance of hearing loss.

In this study, waist size also ended up being a dependable indicator of hearing impairment. Women with bigger waist sizes had a higher risk of hearing loss, and the risk got higher as waist sizes increased. And finally, incidents of hearing loss were decreased in individuals who took part in frequent physical activity.

Obesity And Children’s Hearing

A study on obese versus non-obese teenagers, performed by Columbia University Medical Center, concluded that obese teenagers were twice as likely to experience hearing loss in one ear than teenagers who weren’t obese. Sensorineural hearing loss, which happens when the sensitive hair cells in the inner ear are damaged, was common in these children. This damage makes it difficult to hear what people are saying in a loud setting like a classroom because it diminishes the ability to hear lower frequencies.

Hearing loss in children is particularly worrisome because kids frequently don’t recognize they have a hearing issue. There will be an increasing danger that the problem will get worse as they become an adult if it’s not treated.

What is The Connection?

Researchers surmise that the association between obesity and hearing loss and tinnitus is based on the health symptoms related to obesity. Poor circulation, diabetes, and high blood pressure are all tied to hearing loss and are frequently caused by obesity.

The sensitive inner ear contains numerous delicate parts including nerve cells, little capillaries, and other parts which will quit working properly if they aren’t kept healthy. Good blood flow is essential. 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 translation. The cochlea can be harmed if it doesn’t receive adequate blood flow. Injury to the cochlea and the surrounding nerve cells can rarely be undone.

Is There Anything You Can do?

Women in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital study who exercised the most had a 17 percent lower chance of developing hearing loss versus those who exercised least. Reducing your risk, however, doesn’t mean you need to be a marathon runner. Walking for two or more hours every week resulted in a 15% reduced risk 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 entire 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 lose some of that weight. You can show them exercises that are enjoyable for children and work them into family get-togethers. They might enjoy the exercises so much they will do them on their own!

Consult a hearing specialist to find out if any hearing loss you may 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 suggest the best course of action. A regimen of exercise and diet can be recommended by your primary care doctor if necessary.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.