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

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

Studies have demonstrated that exercising and healthy eating can reinforce your hearing and that people who are overweight have an increased possibility of getting hearing loss. Knowing more about these associations can help you make healthy hearing choices for you and your family.

Obesity And Adult Hearing

A Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s study demonstrated that women with a high body mass index (BMI) were at an increased danger of having hearing loss. The relationship between height and body fat 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 incidence. The participants who were the most overweight were as much as 25 percent more likely to experience hearing impairment!

In this study, waist size also ended up being a dependable indicator of hearing impairment. Women with larger waist sizes had a higher chance of hearing loss, and the risk got higher as waist sizes increased. Lastly, participants who took part in frequent physical activity had a reduced incidence of hearing loss.

Children’s Hearing And Obesity

A study on obese versus non-obese teenagers, carried out by Columbia University Medical Center, determined that obese teenagers were twice as likely to experience 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 noisy 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 issue isn’t addressed, there is a risk the hearing loss might worsen when they become adults.

What is The Connection?

Obesity is related to several health problems and researchers believe 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 problems caused by obesity and linked to hearing loss.

The sensitive inner ear is made up of various delicate parts including nerve cells, little capillaries, and other parts that will stop working properly if they aren’t kept healthy. Good blood flow is crucial. High blood pressure and the narrowing of blood vessels brought about by obesity can hamper this process.

Reduced blood flow can also damage the cochlea, which accepts sound waves and sends nerve impulses to the brain so you can discern what you’re hearing. If the cochlea gets damaged, it’s usually permanent.

What Should You do?

Women in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital study who exercised the most had a 17 percent lower risk of developing hearing loss in comparison with those who exercised least. You don’t need to run a marathon to lower your risk, however. Walking for two or more hours every week resulted in a 15% decreased risk of hearing loss than walking for under an hour.

Your whole family will benefit from eating better, as your diet can positively affect your hearing beyond the benefits gained through weight loss. If there is a child in your family who has some extra weight, get together with your family members and put together a program to help them shed some pounds. You can teach them exercises that are fun for children and incorporate them into family gatherings. They may do the exercises on their own if they like them enough.

If you suspect you are experiencing hearing loss, speak with 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 professional will determine your level of hearing loss and suggest the best strategy. A program of exercise and diet can be suggested by your primary care doctor if needed.

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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.

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