There are plenty of health reasons to stay in shape, but did you know weight loss promotes better hearing?
Research indicates children and adults who are overweight are more likely to experience hearing loss and that eating healthy and exercising can help fortify your hearing. It will be easier to make healthy hearing choices for you and your whole family if you learn about these connections.
Adult Hearing And Obesity
A Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s study revealed women with a high body mass index (BMI) were at an increased danger of having hearing loss. BMI calculates the relationship between height and body fat, with a higher number signifying higher 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 experience hearing loss!
In this study, waist size also turned out to be a dependable indicator of hearing loss. Women with larger waist sizes had a higher chance of hearing loss, and the risk got higher as waist sizes increased. As a final point, participants who took part in regular physical activity had a lower incidence of hearing loss.
Children’s Hearing And Obesity
Research conducted by Columbia University’s Medical Center revealed that obese teenagers had nearly 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 convey sound. This damage resulted in a diminished ability to hear sounds at low frequencies, which makes it hard to understand what people are saying in crowded places, such as classrooms.
Children usually don’t realize they have a hearing issue so when they have hearing loss it’s particularly worrisome. If the issue isn’t dealt with, there is a risk the hearing loss could get worse when they become adults.
What is The Connection?
Researchers suspect that the connection between obesity and hearing loss and tinnitus is based on the health symptoms related to obesity. High blood pressure, poor circulation, and diabetes are some of the health problems related to obesity and linked to hearing loss.
The sensitive inner ear contains numerous delicate parts including nerve cells, little capillaries, and other parts which will quit working properly if they aren’t kept healthy. Good blood flow is crucial. High blood pressure and the constricting of blood vessels caused by obesity can hamper this process.
Decreased blood flow can also damage the cochlea, which accepts sound waves and transmits nerve impulses to the brain so you can distinguish what you’re hearing. Damage to the cochlea and the surrounding nerve cells can rarely be undone.
What Should You do?
Women in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital study who exercised the most had a 17 percent lower risk of experiencing hearing loss versus those who exercised least. You don’t have to run a marathon to reduce your risk, however. The simple routine of walking for at least two hours per week can decrease your risk of hearing loss by 15%.
Your entire family will benefit from a better diet, as your diet can positively impact your hearing beyond the benefits gained from 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 lose some of that weight. You can incorporate this routine into family get-togethers where you all will do exercises that are fun for kids. They might do the exercises on their own if they like them enough.
If you think you are experiencing hearing loss, consult a hearing professional to determine whether it is linked to your weight. Weight loss stimulates better hearing and help is available. Your hearing specialist will determine your level of hearing loss and advise you on the best course of action. A regimen of exercise and diet can be suggested by your primary care doctor if needed.