Everybody recognizes that exercising and keeping yourself in shape is good for your general health but you might not know that losing weight is also good for your hearing.

Studies have demonstrated that exercising and eating healthy can strengthen your hearing and that people who are overweight have an increased possibility of getting hearing loss. Learning more about these relationships can help you make healthy hearing choices for you and your family.

Obesity And Adult Hearing

Women had a higher risk of developing 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 amount. The participants who were the most overweight were up to 25 % more likely to have hearing impairment!

In this study, waist size also turned out to be 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. Lastly, participants who took part in frequent physical activity had a decreased incidence of hearing loss.

Obesity And Children’s Hearing

A study by Columbia University’s Medical Center confirmed that obese teenagers had about twice the risk of experiencing hearing loss in one ear when compared to non-obese teenagers. 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 such as a classroom because it diminishes the ability to hear lower frequencies.

Children often don’t realize they have a hearing problem so when they have hearing loss it’s especially worrisome. If the problem isn’t addressed, there is a possibility the hearing loss may get worse when they become adults.

What is The Connection?

Researchers suspect that the connection between obesity and hearing loss and tinnitus lies in the health symptoms linked to obesity. High blood pressure, diabetes, and poor circulation are some of the health problems related to 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 quit working efficiently if they aren’t kept healthy. It’s crucial 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 which receives sound vibrations and transmits them to the brain for interpretation. The cochlea can be harmed if it doesn’t receive adequate blood flow. If the cochlea is damaged, it’s usually irreversible.

Is There Anything You Can do?

Women who stayed healthy and exercised regularly, according to a Brigham and Women’s Hospital study, had a 17% lowered likelihood of getting hearing loss versus women who didn’t. You don’t have to run a marathon to decrease your risk, however. The simple routine of walking for at least two hours each week can lower your risk of hearing loss by 15%.

Your entire family will benefit from a better diet, as your diet can positively impact your hearing beyond the benefits gained from weight loss. If there is a child in your family who has some extra weight, get together with your family members and develop a routine to help them lose some of that weight. You can teach them exercises that are enjoyable for children and incorporate them into family get-togethers. They may like the exercises enough to do them on their own!

If you believe you are experiencing hearing loss, consult a hearing specialist to discover whether it is linked to your weight. Better hearing can be the result of weight loss and there’s help available. Your hearing specialist will determine your level of hearing loss and suggest the best plan of action. A regimen of exercise and diet can be recommended by your primary care doctor if necessary.

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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.