There are lots of health reasons to stay in shape, but did you realize weight loss supports improved hearing?
Studies have established that exercising and healthy eating can reinforce your hearing and that individuals who are overweight have a higher risk of experiencing hearing loss. It will be easier to make healthy hearing choices for you and your whole family if you know about these relationships.
Adult Hearing And Obesity
Women had a higher risk of developing hearing loss, according to research done by Brigham And Women’s Hospital, if they have a high body mass index (BMI). The connection 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 degree of hearing loss increased as BMI increased. The heaviest people in the study had a 25% higher instance of hearing loss.
Another reliable 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. Lastly, participants who took part in frequent physical activity had a lower incidence of hearing loss.
Children’s Hearing And Obesity
A study on obese versus non-obese teenagers, conducted 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 experienced 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 difficult to hear what people are saying in crowded settings, such as classrooms.
Children frequently don’t recognize they have a hearing problem so when they have hearing loss it’s especially worrisome. There will be an increasing danger that the issue will get worse as they become an adult if it’s not treated.
What is The Connection?
Researchers surmise that the association 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 related to obesity and tied to hearing loss.
The inner ear’s anatomy is very sensitive – consisting of a series of little capillaries, nerve cells, and other fragile parts that need to stay healthy to work properly and in unison. Good blood flow is essential. This process can be hampered when obesity causes constricting of the blood vessels and high blood pressure.
The cochlea is a part of the inner ear which receives sound vibrations and delivers them to the brain for interpretation. The cochlea can be harmed if it doesn’t receive optimal blood flow. Damage to the cochlea and the surrounding nerve cells usually can’t be reversed.
Is There Anything You Can do?
Women in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital study who exercised the most had a 17 percent less chance of experiencing hearing loss in comparison with those who exercised least. You don’t have to run a marathon to lower your risk, however. Walking for two or more hours every week resulted in a 15% lower chance of hearing loss than walking for under an hour.
Beyond weight loss, a better diet will, of itself, help your hearing which will benefit your entire family. If there is a child in your family who has some extra weight, get together with your family members and put together a routine to help them lose some of that weight. You can work this program into family get-togethers where you all will do exercises that are fun for kids. They may enjoy the exercises so much they will do them on their own!
If you believe you are experiencing hearing loss, talk to a hearing specialist to discover whether it is linked to your weight. Weight loss promotes better hearing and help is available. Your hearing specialist will identify your level of hearing loss and advise you on the best strategy. A program of exercise and diet can be recommended by your primary care doctor if needed.