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

There are lots of health reasons to remain in shape, but did you realize weight loss promotes better hearing?

Research indicates children and adults who are overweight are more likely to cope with hearing loss and that eating healthy 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 a study carried out by Brigham And Women’s Hospital, if they have a high body mass index (BMI). The connection between body fat and height 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 loss incidence. The heaviest people in the study had a 25% higher instance of hearing loss.

In this study, waist size also turned out to be a reliable indicator of hearing impairment. Women with larger waist sizes had a higher risk 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, carried out by Columbia University Medical Center, concluded that obese teenagers were twice as likely to experience hearing loss in one ear than teenagers who weren’t obese. These children suffered sensorineural hearing loss, which is a result of damage to sensitive hair cells in the inner ear that convey sound. This damage makes it hard to hear what people are saying in a noisy setting such as a classroom because it diminishes the ability to hear lower frequencies.

Children frequently don’t detect they have a hearing problem so when they have hearing loss it’s especially worrisome. If the issue isn’t dealt with, there is a possibility the hearing loss could get worse 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. Poor circulation, diabetes, and high blood pressure are all tied to hearing loss and are often caused by obesity.

The sensitive inner ear contains various delicate parts including nerve cells, small capillaries, and other parts which will quit working efficiently if they are not kept healthy. Good blood flow is essential. High blood pressure and the narrowing of blood vessels brought about by obesity can impede this process.

Decreased blood flow can also damage the cochlea, which accepts sound waves and sends nerve impulses to the brain so you can discern what you’re hearing. Damage to the cochlea and the surrounding nerve cells can rarely be undone.

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 developing hearing loss versus women who didn’t. 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% decreased risk of hearing loss than walking for under an hour.

Your entire family will benefit from eating better, as your diet can positively impact your hearing beyond the advantages gained through weight loss. If there is a child in your family who has some extra weight, talk with your family members and put together a routine to help them lose some of that weight. You can work this program into family gatherings where you all will do exercises that are fun for kids. They might do the exercises on their own if they enjoy them enough.

Consult a hearing specialist to determine if any hearing loss you might be experiencing is related to your weight. Weight loss stimulates better hearing and help is available. This person can perform a hearing exam to confirm your suspicions and advise you on the measures necessary to deal with your hearing loss symptoms. A program of exercise and diet can be suggested by your primary care physician 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.
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