There are plenty of health reasons to keep in shape, but did you know weight loss promotes better 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. Understanding more about these associations can help you make healthy hearing decisions for you and your family.
Adult Hearing And Obesity
A Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s study showed that women with a high body mass index (BMI) were at an increased risk of having hearing loss. 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 impairment amount. The heaviest individuals 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 loss. With women, as the waist size increases, the chance of hearing loss also increases. And finally, incidents of hearing loss were decreased in individuals who took part in regular physical activity.
Children’s Hearing And Obesity
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 weren’t obese. These children experienced sensorineural hearing loss, which is a result of damage to sensitive hair cells in the inner ear that carry sound. This damage makes it difficult to hear what people are saying in a loud setting such as a classroom because it decreases the ability to hear lower frequencies.
Children usually don’t realize they have a hearing issue so when they have hearing loss it’s particularly worrisome. If the problem isn’t addressed, there is a risk the hearing loss may get worse when they become adults.
What is The Connection?
Researchers surmise that the connection between obesity and hearing loss and tinnitus lies in the health symptoms linked to obesity. 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 contains numerous delicate parts such as nerve cells, small capillaries, and other parts that will quit working correctly if they are not kept healthy. Good blood flow is crucial. This process can be hindered when obesity causes constricting of the blood vessels and high blood pressure.
Decreased blood flow can also damage the cochlea, which accepts vibrations and transmits nerve impulses to the brain so you can discern what you’re hearing. If the cochlea gets damaged, it’s usually permanent.
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% reduced likelihood of getting hearing loss in comparison with women who didn’t. You don’t need to run a marathon to lower your risk, however. The simple routine of walking for at least two hours each week can reduce 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 you have a child or grandchild in your family who is overweight, talk about steps your family can take to encourage a healthier lifestyle. You can show them exercises that are enjoyable for children and work them into family gatherings. They may do the exercises on their own if they like them enough.
If you think you are experiencing hearing loss, speak with a hearing professional to discover whether it is related 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 advise you on the best course of action. A regimen of exercise and diet can be suggested by your primary care doctor if needed.