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Woman weighing herself and realizing her weight affects her hearing health.

There are lots of health reasons to stay in shape, but did you know weight loss supports improved hearing?

Studies have demonstrated that exercising and eating healthy can reinforce your hearing and that people 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 understand these associations.

Obesity And Adult Hearing

A Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s study showed that women with a high body mass index (BMI) were at a higher danger 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 reliable indicator of hearing impairment. With women, as the waist size gets bigger, the chance of hearing loss also increases. As a final point, participants who engaged in frequent physical activity had a decreased incidence of hearing loss.

Obesity And Children’s Hearing

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

Children usually don’t notice they have a hearing problem so when they have hearing loss it’s particularly worrisome. There will be an increasing danger that the issue will get worse as they become an adult if it’s not treated.

What is The Connection?

Obesity is related to several health issues and researchers believe that its connection with hearing loss and tinnitus lies with these health issues. Poor circulation, diabetes, and high blood pressure are some of the health problems caused by obesity and linked to hearing loss.

The sensitive inner ear is made up of numerous delicate parts including nerve cells, small capillaries, and other parts which will quit working properly if they are not kept healthy. It’s crucial to have strong blood flow. High blood pressure and the narrowing of blood vessels brought about by obesity can hamper this process.

Decreased blood flow can also damage the cochlea, which receives vibrations and sends nerve impulses to the brain so you can recognize what you’re hearing. If the cochlea is damaged, it’s normally permanent.

What Should You do?

Women in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital study who exercised the most had a 17 percent less risk of developing hearing loss compared to those who exercised least. Decreasing your risk, however, doesn’t mean you have to be a marathon runner. Walking for a couple of hours every week resulted in a 15 percent lower chance of hearing loss than walking for less than an hour.

Beyond weight loss, a better diet will, of itself, improve 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 routine to help them lose some of that weight. You can incorporate this program into family get-togethers where you all will do exercises that are fun for kids. They may do the exercises on their own if they like them enough.

Talk to a hearing professional to figure out if any hearing loss you may be experiencing is related to your weight. Weight loss stimulates better hearing and help is available. Your hearing specialist will identify your level of hearing loss and advise you on the best plan of action. If necessary, your primary care doctor will suggest a diet and exercise routine that best suit your individual needs.

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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.
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