How Your Weight Impacts Your Hearing

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

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

Research reveals children and adults who are overweight are more likely to experience hearing loss and that healthy eating and exercising can help support your hearing. Understanding more about these connections can help you make healthy hearing decisions for you and your family.

Adult Hearing And Obesity

A Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s study demonstrated women with a high body mass index (BMI) were at a higher danger of having hearing loss. BMI measures the relationship between height and body fat, with a higher number meaning higher body fat. The higher the BMI of the 68,000 women in the study, the higher their hearing impairment amount. The heaviest people in the study had a 25% greater instance of hearing loss.

Another dependable indicator of hearing loss, in this study, was the size of a person’s waist. With women, as the waist size increases, the chance of hearing loss also increases. As a final point, participants who took part in regular physical activity had a lower incidence of hearing loss.

Obesity And Children’s Hearing

Research conducted by Columbia University’s Medical Center confirmed that obese teenagers had about twice the risk of developing hearing loss in one ear when compared to non-obese teenagers. These children suffered sensorineural hearing loss, which is caused by damage to sensitive hair cells in the inner ear that convey sound. This damage led to a diminished ability to hear sounds at low frequencies, which makes it difficult to hear what people are saying in crowded places, such as classrooms.

Hearing loss in children is especially worrisome because kids frequently don’t recognize they have a hearing problem. There will be an increased risk that the issue will get worse as they become an adult if it’s not treated.

What is The Connection?

Obesity is related to several health issues and researchers suspect that its connection with hearing loss and tinnitus lies with these health issues. High blood pressure, diabetes, and poor circulation are all linked to hearing loss and are frequently caused by obesity.

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

Decreased blood flow can also damage the cochlea, which receives sound waves and transmits nerve impulses to the brain so you can distinguish what you’re hearing. If the cochlea gets damaged, it’s usually permanent.

What Should You do?

Women who remained healthy and exercised frequently, according to a Brigham and Women’s Hospital study, had a 17% lowered likelihood of getting hearing loss in comparison with women who didn’t. You don’t have to run a marathon to decrease your risk, however. The simple act of walking for at least two hours per week can lower your chance of hearing loss by 15%.

Beyond losing weight, a better diet will, of itself, improve your hearing which will benefit your entire family. If there is a child in your family who has some extra weight, talk with your family members and develop a routine to help them shed some pounds. You can teach them exercises that are fun for children and work them into family get-togethers. They may enjoy the exercises so much they will do them on their own!

If you think you are experiencing hearing loss, speak with a hearing specialist to discover whether it is linked to your weight. Weight loss stimulates better hearing and help is available. This individual can perform a hearing exam to verify your suspicions and advise you on the measures necessary to deal with your hearing loss symptoms. A regimen of exercise and diet can be recommended by your primary care physician if needed.

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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