There are lots of health reasons to remain in shape, but did you realize weight loss supports improved hearing?
Research shows children and adults who are overweight are more likely to cope with hearing loss and that healthy eating and exercising can help fortify your hearing. It will be easier to make healthy hearing choices for you and your whole family if you understand these relationships.
Adult Hearing And Obesity
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). BMI assesses the relationship between height and body fat, with a higher number meaning higher body fat. Of the 68,000 women who took part in the study, the degree of hearing loss increased as BMI increased. The participants who were the most overweight were as much as 25 percent more likely to have hearing loss!
Another dependable indicator of hearing loss, in this study, was waist size. With women, as the waist size increases, the risk of hearing loss also increases. And finally, incidents of hearing loss were reduced in people who engaged in regular physical activity.
Children’s Hearing And Obesity
A study by Columbia University’s Medical Center confirmed that obese teenagers had nearly double the risk of developing hearing loss in one ear when compared to 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 led to a decreased ability to hear sounds at low frequencies, which makes it difficult to hear what people are saying in crowded settings, like classrooms.
Hearing loss in children is particularly worrisome because kids frequently don’t realize they have a hearing issue. If the problem isn’t addressed, there is a risk the hearing loss might worsen when they become adults.
What is The Connection?
Researchers suspect that the association between obesity and hearing loss and tinnitus lies in the health symptoms linked to obesity. High blood pressure, poor circulation, and diabetes are some of the health problems caused by obesity and tied to hearing loss.
The inner ear’s workings are very sensitive – consisting of a series of little capillaries, nerve cells, and other delicate parts that have to remain healthy to work effectively and in unison. Good blood flow is essential. This process can be hampered when obesity causes narrowing of the blood vessels and high blood pressure.
Reduced blood flow can also damage the cochlea, which receives vibrations and transmits nerve impulses to the brain so you can distinguish what you’re hearing. If the cochlea gets 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% reduced likelihood of developing hearing loss compared to 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 risk of hearing loss by 15%.
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 shed some pounds. You can teach them exercises that are fun for kids and incorporate them into family gatherings. They might do the exercises on their own if they enjoy them enough.
Talk to a hearing specialist to find out if any hearing loss you may be experiencing is related to your weight. Better hearing can come from weight loss and there’s help available. This person can do a hearing test to confirm your suspicions and advise you on the steps necessary to correct your hearing loss symptoms. If needed, your primary care doctor will suggest a diet and exercise program that best suit your personal needs.