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

Research indicates children and adults who are overweight are more likely to experience hearing loss and that healthy eating and exercising can help support your hearing. It will be easier to make healthy hearing decisions for you and your whole family if you understand these associations.

Obesity And Adult Hearing

Women had a higher risk of developing hearing loss, according to a study 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. Of the 68,000 women who took part in the study, the amount of hearing loss increased as BMI increased. The participants who were the most overweight were as much as 25 % more likely to experience 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 chance of hearing loss, and the risk increased as waist sizes increased. And finally, incidents of hearing loss were lower in individuals who took part in regular physical activity.

Obesity And Children’s Hearing

A study on obese versus non-obese teenagers, performed by Columbia University Medical Center, concluded that obese teenagers were twice as likely to develop hearing loss in one ear than teenagers who weren’t obese. Sensorineural hearing loss, which occurs 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.

Hearing loss in children is particularly worrisome because kids frequently don’t realize they have a hearing problem. There will be an increasing risk that the problem will get worse as they become an adult if it goes unaddressed.

What is The Connection?

Researchers suspect that the association between obesity and hearing loss and tinnitus is based on the health symptoms linked to obesity. High blood pressure, poor circulation, and diabetes are all linked to hearing loss and are frequently the result of obesity.

The inner ear’s anatomy is very sensitive – composed of a series of small capillaries, nerve cells, and other delicate parts that have to remain healthy to work properly and in unison. Good blood flow is essential. High blood pressure and the constricting of blood vessels brought about by obesity can hamper this process.

The cochlea is a part of the inner ear which receives sound vibrations and sends them to the brain for interpretation. The cochlea can be damaged if it doesn’t get the proper blood flow. Injury to the cochlea and the adjoining nerve cells can rarely be undone.

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. You don’t need to run a marathon to reduce your risk, however. 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 you have a child or grandchild in your family who is obese, talk about steps your family can take to promote a healthier lifestyle. You can teach them exercises that are enjoyable for children and work them into family get-togethers. They may do the exercises on their own if they enjoy them enough.

If you think you are experiencing hearing loss, speak with a hearing specialist to determine whether it is linked to your weight. Better hearing can be the result of weight loss and there’s help available. Your hearing professional will determine your level of hearing loss and suggest the best strategy. A regimen of exercise and diet can be recommended by your primary care doctor if needed.

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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.