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

There are lots of health reasons to remain in shape, but did you realize weight loss promotes better hearing?

Research shows 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 associations.

Obesity And Adult Hearing

Women had a higher risk of developing hearing loss, according to a study done by Brigham And Women’s Hospital, if they have a high body mass index (BMI). BMI measures the relationship between height and body fat, 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 heaviest people in the study had a 25% higher instance of hearing loss.

In this study, waist size also ended up being a dependable indicator of hearing loss. Women with bigger waist sizes had a higher risk of hearing loss, and the risk increased as waist sizes increased. As a final point, participants who engaged in regular physical activity had a reduced incidence of hearing loss.

Obesity And Children’s Hearing

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 weren’t obese. 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 difficult to hear what people are saying in a loud setting such as a classroom because it decreases the ability to hear lower frequencies.

Hearing loss in children is particularly worrisome because kids often don’t realize they have a hearing problem. If the problem isn’t addressed, there is a risk the hearing loss may worsen when they become adults.

What is The Connection?

Obesity is related to several health problems and researchers think that its connection with hearing loss and tinnitus lies with these health problems. 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 workings are very sensitive – consisting of a series of little capillaries, nerve cells, and other delicate parts that have to remain healthy to work properly and in unison. It’s essential to have strong blood flow. 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 accepts sound waves and transmits nerve impulses to the brain so you can discern what you’re hearing. If the cochlea gets damaged, it’s normally permanent.

Is There Anything You Can do?

Women who remained healthy and exercised regularly, according to a Brigham and Women’s Hospital study, had a 17% reduced likelihood of developing hearing loss versus women who didn’t. Lowering your risk, however, doesn’t mean you need to be a marathon runner. Walking for a couple of hours per 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 overweight, talk about steps your family can take to promote a healthier lifestyle. You can show them exercises that are fun for children and work them into family get-togethers. They might do the exercises on their own if they like them enough.

Consult a hearing specialist to figure out if any hearing loss you may be experiencing is related to your weight. Weight loss promotes better hearing and help is available. Your hearing specialist will determine your level of hearing loss and suggest the best course of action. A program of exercise and diet can be recommended by your primary care doctor if necessary.

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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.