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 fortify your hearing. Knowing more about these associations can help you make healthy hearing decisions for you and your family.
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). BMI measures the connection between body fat and height, with a higher number signifying higher body fat. The higher the BMI of the 68,000 women in the study, the higher their hearing loss amount. The participants who were the most overweight were as much as 25 % more likely to experience hearing loss!
Another dependable indicator of hearing impairment, in this study, was the size of a person’s waist. Women with bigger waist sizes had a higher risk of hearing loss, and the risk increased as waist sizes increased. And finally, incidents of hearing loss were lower in individuals who engaged in regular physical activity.
Obesity And Children’s Hearing
Research conducted by Columbia University’s Medical Center demonstrated that obese teenagers had almost twice the risk of experiencing hearing loss in one ear than non-obese teenagers. Sensorineural hearing loss, which develops 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 like a classroom because it diminishes the ability to hear lower frequencies.
Hearing loss in children is especially worrisome because kids frequently don’t recognize they have a hearing problem. If the problem isn’t addressed, there is a danger the hearing loss could get worse when they become adults.
What is The Connection?
Researchers surmise that the association between obesity and hearing loss and tinnitus is based on the health symptoms linked to obesity. Poor circulation, diabetes, and high blood pressure are some of the health issues caused by obesity and tied 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 have to remain 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.
Decreased blood flow can also damage the cochlea, which receives vibrations and transmits nerve impulses to the brain so you can recognize what you’re hearing. If the cochlea is damaged, it’s normally irreversible.
What Should You do?
Women who remained healthy and exercised regularly, according to a Brigham and Women’s Hospital study, had a 17% reduced likelihood of getting hearing loss in comparison with women who didn’t. You don’t need to run a marathon to lower your risk, however. The simple act of walking for at least two hours each week can lower your risk of hearing loss by 15%.
Your whole family will benefit from eating better, as your diet can positively affect your hearing beyond the advantages gained from weight loss. If there is a child in your family who has some extra weight, get together with your family members and develop a program to help them shed some pounds. You can incorporate this program into family gatherings where you all will do exercises that are fun for kids. They might do the exercises on their own if they like them enough.
Talk to a hearing professional to determine if any hearing loss you might be experiencing is related to your weight. Better hearing can be the result of weight loss and there’s help available. This individual can conduct a hearing exam to verify your suspicions and advise you on the steps needed to deal with your hearing loss symptoms. If necessary, your primary care doctor will recommend a diet and exercise program that best suit your personal needs.