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

Everybody knows that exercising and keeping yourself in shape is good for your overall health but you may not know that losing weight is also good for your hearing.

Research reveals children and adults who are overweight are more likely to cope with hearing loss and that eating healthy and exercising can help strengthen your hearing. It will be easier to make healthy hearing choices for you and your whole family if you understand 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 waist size. With women, as the waist size increases, the chance of hearing loss also increases. As a final point, participants who took part in frequent physical activity had a decreased incidence of hearing loss.

Obesity And Children’s Hearing

Research conducted by Columbia University’s Medical Center demonstrated that obese teenagers had nearly double the risk of experiencing hearing loss in one ear than non-obese teenagers. Sensorineural hearing loss, which occurs when the delicate hair cells in the inner ear are damaged, was common in these children. This damage makes it hard to hear what people are saying in a noisy setting such as a classroom because it decreases the ability to hear lower frequencies.

Hearing loss in children is particularly worrisome because kids frequently don’t realize they have a hearing issue. If the issue isn’t dealt with, there is a possibility the hearing loss may get worse when they become adults.

What is The Connection?

Obesity is associated with several health issues and researchers think 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 caused by obesity and linked to hearing loss.

The inner ear’s workings are very sensitive – comprised of a series of little capillaries, nerve cells, and other fragile parts that need to remain healthy to work properly and in unison. Good blood flow is essential. High blood pressure and the constricting of blood vessels brought about by obesity can obstruct this process.

Reduced blood flow can also damage the cochlea, which receives vibrations and sends nerve impulses to the brain so you can recognize what you’re hearing. If the cochlea is damaged, it’s normally permanent.

Is There Anything You Can do?

Women who stayed healthy and exercised regularly, according to a Brigham and Women’s Hospital study, had a 17% reduced likelihood of developing hearing loss compared to women who didn’t. Lessening your risk, however, doesn’t mean you have to be a marathon runner. The simple act of walking for at least two hours every week can decrease your chance of hearing loss by 15%.

Your entire family will benefit from a better diet, as your diet can positively impact your hearing beyond the advantages gained from weight loss. If there is a child in your family who has some extra weight, talk with your family members and put together a program to help them shed some pounds. You can show them exercises that are enjoyable for kids and work them into family gatherings. They may do the exercises on their own if they enjoy them enough.

If you suspect you are experiencing hearing loss, consult a hearing specialist to determine whether it is linked to your weight. Weight loss stimulates better hearing and help is available. This individual can perform a hearing test to verify your suspicions and advise you on the measures necessary to correct your hearing loss symptoms. If needed, your primary care physician will suggest a diet and exercise program that best suit your individual needs.

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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.