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 realize that losing weight is also good for your hearing.

Studies have established that exercising and healthy eating can strengthen your hearing and that people who are overweight have a higher chance of suffering from hearing loss. It will be easier to make healthy hearing choices for you and your whole family if you understand these associations.

Obesity And Adult Hearing

A Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s study demonstrated that women with a high body mass index (BMI) were at a higher danger of having hearing loss. The connection between body fat and height is what BMI measures. The higher the number the higher the body fat. Of the 68,000 women who participated in the study, the degree of hearing loss increased as BMI increased. The participants who were the most overweight were up to 25 percent more likely to have hearing impairment!

In this study, waist size also ended up being a reliable indicator of hearing impairment. With women, as the waist size gets bigger, the risk of hearing loss also increases. And finally, incidents of hearing loss were decreased in individuals who took part in regular physical activity.

Obesity And Children’s Hearing

A study by Columbia University’s Medical Center demonstrated that obese teenagers had about double the risk of developing hearing loss in one ear when compared to non-obese teenagers. These children experienced sensorineural hearing loss, which is a result of damage to sensitive hair cells in the inner ear that carry sound. This damage led to a decreased ability to hear sounds at low frequencies, which makes it difficult to hear what people are saying in crowded settings, like classrooms.

Hearing loss in children is especially worrisome because kids frequently don’t realize they have a hearing issue. There will be an increasing risk that the problem will get worse as they become an adult if it goes unaddressed.

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 issues. High blood pressure, diabetes, and poor circulation are all linked to hearing loss and are often the result of obesity.

The inner ear’s workings are very sensitive – consisting of a series of little capillaries, nerve cells, and other fragile parts that need to stay healthy to work effectively and in unison. Good blood flow is crucial. High blood pressure and the narrowing of blood vessels brought about by obesity can hamper this process.

The cochlea is a part of the inner ear which receives sound vibrations and delivers them to the brain for translation. The cochlea can be damaged if it doesn’t receive the proper blood flow. If the cochlea is damaged, it’s usually permanent.

What Should You do?

Women who stayed healthy and exercised frequently, according to a Brigham and Women’s Hospital study, had a 17% reduced likelihood of developing hearing loss compared to women who didn’t. Lowering your risk, however, doesn’t mean you have to be a marathon runner. Walking for a couple of hours per week resulted in a 15% lower chance of hearing loss than walking for less than an hour.

Your entire family will benefit from eating better, as your diet can positively impact your hearing beyond the advantages 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 routine to help them lose some of that weight. You can teach them exercises that are fun for children and work them into family gatherings. They might do the exercises on their own if they enjoy them enough.

Consult a hearing professional to find out if any hearing loss you might be experiencing is related to your weight. Weight loss stimulates better hearing and help is available. This person can conduct a hearing test to confirm your suspicions and advise you on the measures needed to correct your hearing loss symptoms. If needed, your primary care physician will recommend a diet and exercise routine that best suit your individual needs.

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