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

Everyone recognizes that exercising and keeping yourself in shape is good for your overall health but you may 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 possibility of getting hearing loss. It will be easier to make healthy hearing choices for you and your whole family if you know about these associations.

Adult Hearing And Obesity

Women had a higher risk of developing hearing loss, according to a study carried out by Brigham And Women’s Hospital, if they have a high body mass index (BMI). BMI assesses the connection between height and body fat, with a higher number meaning higher body fat. Of the 68,000 women who participated in the study, the level of hearing loss increased as BMI increased. The participants who were the most overweight were up to 25 % more likely to have hearing impairment!

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 got higher as waist sizes increased. And finally, incidents of hearing loss were decreased in people who took part in frequent physical activity.

Children’s Hearing And Obesity

Research conducted by Columbia University’s Medical Center revealed that obese teenagers had nearly twice the risk of developing 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 difficult to hear what people are saying in a loud setting like a classroom because it decreases the ability to hear lower frequencies.

Hearing loss in children is particularly worrisome because kids often don’t recognize they have a hearing issue. If the problem isn’t dealt with, there is a danger the hearing loss could get worse when they become adults.

What is The Connection?

Obesity is associated with several health issues and researchers suspect that its connection with hearing loss and tinnitus lies with these health issues. High blood pressure, poor circulation, and diabetes are all linked to hearing loss and are often caused by obesity.

The inner ear’s workings are very sensitive – comprised 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. High blood pressure and the narrowing of blood vessels brought about 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 recognize what you’re hearing. If the cochlea is damaged, it’s usually permanent.

Is There Anything You Can do?

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

Your whole family will benefit from a better diet, as your diet can positively affect your hearing beyond the benefits gained from weight loss. If you have a child or grandchild in your family who is obese, discuss steps your family can take to promote a healthier lifestyle. You can teach them exercises that are fun for kids and work them into family gatherings. They might enjoy the exercises enough to do them on their own!

Consult a hearing specialist to figure out if any hearing loss you may be experiencing is related to your weight. Better hearing can be the result of weight loss and there’s help available. This individual can conduct a hearing test to verify your suspicions and advise you on the steps necessary to correct your hearing loss symptoms. A regimen of exercise and diet can be recommended by your primary care physician if needed.

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