Geneva Hearing Services - Geneva, IL

“Woman

Everybody knows 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.

Research indicates children and adults who are overweight are more likely to experience hearing loss and that healthy eating and exercising can help fortify your hearing. Understanding more about these associations can help you make healthy hearing decisions for you and your family.

Adult Hearing And Obesity

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. Of the 68,000 women who took part in the study, the amount 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 ended up being 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. And finally, incidents of hearing loss were lower in people who took part in frequent physical activity.

Obesity And Children’s Hearing

Research conducted by Columbia University’s Medical Center demonstrated that obese teenagers had about twice the risk of experiencing 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 resulted in a diminished ability to hear sounds at low frequencies, which makes it difficult to understand what people are saying in crowded places, like classrooms.

Children usually don’t recognize they have a hearing issue so when they have hearing loss it’s particularly worrisome. There will be an increasing danger that the problem will get worse as they become an adult if it’s not treated.

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, poor circulation, and diabetes are all linked to hearing loss and are frequently caused by obesity.

The sensitive inner ear contains various delicate parts including nerve cells, little capillaries, and other parts that will quit working correctly if they are not kept healthy. Good blood flow is crucial. This process can be hampered when obesity causes constricting of the blood vessels and high blood pressure.

Reduced blood flow can also damage the cochlea, which receives vibrations and sends nerve impulses to the brain so you can distinguish what you’re hearing. If the cochlea gets damaged, it’s normally permanent.

Is There Anything You Can do?

Women in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital study who exercised the most had a 17 percent lower chance of developing hearing loss versus 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 percent lower chance of hearing loss than walking for under an hour.

Beyond weight loss, a better diet will, of itself, help your hearing which will benefit your whole family. 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 show them exercises that are enjoyable for kids and incorporate them into family get-togethers. They might do the exercises on their own if they like them enough.

Consult a hearing professional to determine if any hearing loss you may be experiencing is related to your weight. Weight loss stimulates better hearing and help is available. Your hearing professional will determine your level of hearing loss and advise you on the best course of action. If necessary, your primary care doctor will suggest a diet and exercise program that best suit your individual needs.

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