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 indicates 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 learn about these relationships.

Obesity And Adult Hearing

Women are more likely to experience hearing loss, according to research carried out by Brigham And Women’s Hospital, if they have a high body mass index (BMI). BMI measures the relationship between body fat and height, with a higher number meaning higher body fat. Of the 68,000 women who participated in the study, the level of hearing loss increased as BMI increased. The participants who were the most overweight were up to 25 percent more likely to experience hearing impairment!

In this study, waist size also ended up being a reliable indicator of hearing impairment. With women, as the waist size gets bigger, the chance of hearing loss also increases. And finally, incidents of hearing loss were reduced in people who took part in frequent physical activity.

Children’s Hearing And Obesity

A study on obese versus non-obese teenagers, carried out by Columbia University Medical Center, determined that obese teenagers were twice as likely to develop hearing loss in one ear than teenagers who were not obese. These children suffered sensorineural hearing loss, which is caused by damage to sensitive hair cells in the inner ear that convey sound. This damage resulted in a decreased ability to hear sounds at low frequencies, which makes it hard to hear what people are saying in crowded places, such as classrooms.

Hearing loss in children is particularly worrisome because kids often don’t recognize they have a hearing issue. 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 lies in the health symptoms related to obesity. High blood pressure, diabetes, and poor circulation are some of the health issues caused by obesity and linked to hearing loss.

The sensitive inner ear is made up of numerous delicate parts such as nerve cells, little capillaries, and other parts which will quit working properly if they aren’t kept healthy. Good blood flow is crucial. High blood pressure and the constricting of blood vessels caused by obesity can obstruct this process.

The cochlea is a part of the inner ear which receives sound vibrations and transmits them to the brain for interpretation. The cochlea can be harmed if it doesn’t receive the proper blood flow. If the cochlea gets damaged, it’s normally irreversible.

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 need to run a marathon to decrease your risk, however. Walking for two or more hours per week resulted in a 15% lower chance of hearing loss than walking for less than an hour.

Beyond losing weight, a better diet will, of itself, help your hearing which will benefit your entire family. If you have a child or grandchild in your family who is overweight, discuss steps your family can take to encourage a healthier lifestyle. You can incorporate this program into family gatherings where you all will do exercises that are fun for kids. They might enjoy the exercises enough to do them on their own!

Consult a hearing professional to determine if any hearing loss you might be experiencing is related to your weight. Weight loss promotes better hearing and help is available. Your hearing professional will identify your level of hearing loss and advise you on the best plan of action. If needed, your primary care doctor will suggest a diet and exercise program that best suit your personal needs.

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