Everybody knows that exercising and keeping yourself in shape is good for your overall health but you might 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 support your hearing. It will be easier to make healthy hearing choices for you and your whole family if you know about these connections.
Obesity And Adult Hearing
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 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 loss amount. The participants who were the most overweight were as much as 25 percent more likely to have hearing impairment!
Another reliable indicator of hearing impairment, in this study, was waist size. Women with bigger waist sizes had a higher chance of hearing loss, and the risk got higher as waist sizes increased. And finally, incidents of hearing loss were reduced in people who took part in frequent physical activity.
Obesity And Children’s Hearing
Research conducted by Columbia University’s Medical Center revealed that obese teenagers had almost twice the risk of developing hearing loss in one ear than non-obese teenagers. Sensorineural hearing loss, which happens when the delicate hair cells in the inner ear are damaged, was common in these children. This damage makes it hard to hear what people are saying in a noisy setting like a classroom because it decreases the ability to hear lower frequencies.
Hearing loss in children is particularly worrisome because kids frequently don’t recognize they have a hearing problem. If the issue isn’t addressed, there is a danger the hearing loss could worsen when they become adults.
What is The Connection?
Researchers surmise that the connection between obesity and hearing loss and tinnitus lies in the health symptoms related 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 anatomy is very sensitive – consisting of a series of little capillaries, nerve cells, and other delicate parts that have to remain healthy to work properly and in unison. Good blood flow is essential. High blood pressure and the constricting of blood vessels brought about by obesity can hamper this process.
Decreased blood flow can also damage the cochlea, which receives sound waves and transmits nerve impulses to the brain so you can recognize what you’re hearing. Damage to the cochlea and the surrounding nerve cells usually can’t be reversed.
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% reduced likelihood of developing hearing loss versus women who didn’t. You don’t need to run a marathon to decrease your risk, however. The simple routine of walking for at least two hours per week can decrease your chance of hearing loss by 15%.
Beyond losing weight, a better diet will, of itself, improve your hearing which will benefit your entire family. 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 work this program into family gatherings where you all will do exercises that are fun for kids. They may do the exercises on their own if they enjoy them enough.
If you think you are experiencing hearing loss, speak with a hearing professional to discover whether it is linked to your weight. Weight loss stimulates better hearing and help is available. This individual can perform a hearing exam to confirm your suspicions and advise you on the measures necessary to deal with your hearing loss symptoms. If needed, your primary care doctor will recommend a diet and exercise program that best suit your individual needs.