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.
Studies have demonstrated that exercising and healthy eating can reinforce your hearing and that individuals who are overweight have a higher possibility of dealing with hearing loss. It will be easier to make healthy hearing decisions for you and your whole family if you learn about these relationships.
Obesity And Adult Hearing
A Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s study revealed women with a high body mass index (BMI) were at an increased risk of experiencing hearing loss. The connection between height and body fat is what BMI measures. The higher the number the higher the body fat. Of the 68,000 women who took part in the study, the amount of hearing loss increased as BMI increased. The heaviest people in the study had a 25% greater instance of hearing loss.
In this study, waist size also ended up being a dependable indicator of hearing impairment. Women with larger waist sizes had a higher chance of hearing loss, and the risk increased as waist sizes increased. And finally, incidents of hearing loss were lower in individuals who engaged in regular physical activity.
Children’s Hearing And Obesity
A study on obese versus non-obese teenagers, performed by Columbia University Medical Center, concluded that obese teenagers were twice as likely to develop hearing loss in one ear than teenagers who were not obese. These children suffered sensorineural hearing loss, which is a result of damage to sensitive hair cells in the inner ear that carry sound. This damage makes it hard 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 especially worrisome because kids frequently don’t recognize they have a hearing problem. There will be an increasing danger 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 think that its connection with hearing loss and tinnitus lies with these health issues. High blood pressure, diabetes, and poor circulation are all linked to hearing loss and are frequently caused by obesity.
The inner ear’s anatomy is very sensitive – comprised of a series of small capillaries, nerve cells, and other delicate parts that need to stay healthy to work correctly and in unison. It’s crucial to have strong blood flow. 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 accepts vibrations and transmits nerve impulses to the brain so you can recognize what you’re hearing. Injury to the cochlea and the surrounding nerve cells usually can’t be reversed.
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 experiencing hearing loss versus those who exercised least. You don’t have to run a marathon to decrease your risk, however. Walking for a couple of hours per 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 you have a child or grandchild in your family who is overweight, discuss steps your family can take to encourage a healthier lifestyle. You can teach them exercises that are enjoyable for kids and incorporate them into family gatherings. They might do the exercises on their own if they like them enough.
Talk to a hearing specialist to figure 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 course of action. A regimen of exercise and diet can be recommended by your primary care doctor if needed.