There are plenty of health reasons to stay in shape, but did you realize weight loss promotes better hearing?
Studies have demonstrated that exercising and healthy eating can improve your hearing and that people who are overweight have a higher chance of dealing with hearing loss. It will be easier to make healthy hearing choices for you and your whole family if you know about these connections.
Adult Hearing And Obesity
Women had a higher risk of developing hearing loss, according to research carried out by Brigham And Women’s Hospital, if they have a high body mass index (BMI). The relationship 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 participants who were the most overweight were as much as 25 percent more likely to experience hearing impairment!
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 risk of hearing loss also increases. And finally, incidents of hearing loss were reduced in individuals who engaged in frequent physical activity.
Obesity And Children’s Hearing
Research conducted by Columbia University’s Medical Center confirmed that obese teenagers had almost double the risk of experiencing 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 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.
Children often don’t detect they have a hearing problem so when they have hearing loss it’s particularly worrisome. If the problem isn’t addressed, there is a risk the hearing loss could get worse when they become adults.
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. Poor circulation, diabetes, and high blood pressure are some of the health problems related to obesity and linked to hearing loss.
The inner ear’s anatomy is very sensitive – consisting of a series of small capillaries, nerve cells, and other fragile parts that must stay healthy to work effectively 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.
Reduced blood flow can also damage the cochlea, which accepts vibrations and sends nerve impulses to the brain so you can recognize what you’re hearing. Damage to the cochlea and the surrounding nerve cells can rarely be undone.
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 developing hearing loss compared to women who didn’t. You don’t need to run a marathon to decrease your risk, however. Walking for two or more hours each week resulted in a 15% lower risk of hearing loss than walking for under an hour.
Your whole family will benefit from eating better, 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 obese, discuss steps your family can take to encourage a healthier lifestyle. You can teach them exercises that are fun for children and work them into family gatherings. They may enjoy the exercises so much they will do them on their own!
If you believe you are experiencing hearing loss, consult a hearing specialist 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 identify your level of hearing loss and suggest the best plan of action. If needed, your primary care doctor will recommend a diet and exercise program that best suit your individual needs.