Everybody knows that exercising and keeping yourself in shape is good for your general health but you may not realize that losing weight is also good for your hearing.
Studies have established that exercising and healthy eating can reinforce your hearing and that people who are overweight have an increased possibility of suffering from hearing loss. Learning 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 revealed that women with a high body mass index (BMI) were at a higher danger of experiencing hearing loss. BMI assesses the relationship between body fat and height, with a higher number indicating higher body fat. Of the 68,000 women who took part in the study, the degree of hearing loss increased as BMI increased. The participants who were the most overweight were up to 25 % more likely to have hearing impairment!
Another dependable indicator of hearing impairment, in this study, was waist size. With women, as the waist size gets bigger, the risk of hearing loss also increases. And finally, incidents of hearing loss were reduced in people who took part in frequent physical activity.
Obesity And Children’s Hearing
Research conducted by Columbia University’s Medical Center confirmed that obese teenagers had almost twice the risk of developing hearing loss in one ear when compared to non-obese teenagers. Sensorineural hearing loss, which happens when the delicate hair cells in the inner ear are damaged, was common in these children. This damage led to a diminished ability to hear sounds at low frequencies, which makes it hard to understand what people are saying in crowded places, like classrooms.
Hearing loss in children is especially worrisome because kids often don’t realize they have a hearing problem. If the issue isn’t addressed, there is a risk the hearing loss could get worse when they become adults.
What is The Connection?
Obesity is related to 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 tied to hearing loss and are frequently the result of obesity.
The inner ear’s workings are very sensitive – comprised of a series of little capillaries, nerve cells, and other fragile parts that need to remain healthy to work correctly and in unison. Good blood flow is crucial. High blood pressure and the constricting of blood vessels brought about by obesity can obstruct this process.
Reduced blood flow can also damage the cochlea, which receives 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 irreversible.
What Should You do?
Women who remained healthy and exercised regularly, according to a Brigham and Women’s Hospital study, had a 17% lowered likelihood of developing hearing loss in comparison with women who didn’t. You don’t need to run a marathon to lower your risk, however. The simple act of walking for at least two hours each week can lower your chance of hearing loss by 15%.
Your entire family will benefit from a better diet, 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 develop a routine to help them lose some of that weight. You can incorporate this program 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.
Consult a hearing specialist to find out if any hearing loss you may be experiencing is associated with your weight. Better hearing can come from weight loss and there’s help available. This individual can perform a hearing exam to confirm your suspicions and advise you on the steps necessary to deal with your hearing loss symptoms. If needed, your primary care physician will suggest a diet and exercise routine that best suit your individual needs.