Hearing Health Blog

“Woman

There are plenty of health reasons to remain in shape, but did you realize weight loss supports improved hearing?

Studies have demonstrated that exercising and healthy eating can improve your hearing and that people who are overweight have a higher risk of getting hearing loss. Learning more about these relationships can help you make healthy hearing decisions for you and your family.

Adult Hearing And Obesity

Women had a higher risk of developing hearing loss, according to a study carried out by Brigham And Women’s Hospital, if they have a high body mass index (BMI). The relationship between body fat and height is what BMI measures. The higher the number the higher the body fat. Of the 68,000 women who participated in the study, the amount of hearing loss increased as BMI increased. The heaviest individuals in the study had a 25% higher instance of hearing loss.

Another reliable indicator of hearing loss, in this study, was the size of a person’s waist. Women with bigger waist sizes had a higher chance of hearing loss, and the risk got higher as waist sizes increased. As a final point, participants who took part in regular physical activity had a lower incidence of hearing loss.

Children’s Hearing And Obesity

A study on obese versus non-obese teenagers, performed by Columbia University Medical Center, determined that obese teenagers were twice as likely to develop hearing loss in one ear than teenagers who weren’t obese. Sensorineural hearing loss, which develops when the sensitive hair cells in the inner ear are damaged, was common in these children. This damage led to a decreased ability to hear sounds at low frequencies, which makes it difficult to understand what people are saying in crowded places, like classrooms.

Hearing loss in children is especially worrisome because kids often don’t realize they have a hearing problem. There will be an increasing risk 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 lies in the health symptoms linked to obesity. Poor circulation, diabetes, and high blood pressure are some of the health problems caused by obesity and tied to hearing loss.

The sensitive inner ear is made up of various delicate parts such as nerve cells, little capillaries, and other parts which will stop working properly if they are not kept healthy. It’s essential to have strong blood flow. This process can be hampered when obesity causes constricting 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 receive the proper blood flow. Damage to the cochlea and the surrounding nerve cells usually can’t be reversed.

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% lowered likelihood of getting hearing loss versus women who didn’t. Decreasing your risk, however, doesn’t mean you have to be a marathon runner. The simple routine of walking for at least two hours per week can decrease your chance of hearing loss by 15%.

Beyond weight loss, a better diet will, of itself, improve 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 develop a program to help them lose some of that weight. You can teach them exercises that are fun for kids and work them into family get-togethers. They might like the exercises so much they will do them on their own!

Consult 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 recommended by your primary care physician if necessary.

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