How Your Hearing is Affected by Your Weight


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

There are plenty of health reasons to remain in shape, but did you know weight loss promotes improved hearing?

Research indicates children and adults who are overweight are more likely to cope with hearing loss and that healthy eating and exercising can help strengthen your hearing. Learning more about these relationships can help you make healthy hearing decisions for you and your family.

Adult Hearing And Obesity

A Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s study showed women with a high body mass index (BMI) were at a higher danger of having hearing loss. BMI calculates the relationship between height and body fat, with a higher number indicating higher body fat. The higher the BMI of the 68,000 women in the study, the higher their hearing impairment amount. The participants who were the most overweight were up to 25 percent more likely to have hearing impairment!

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 increased as waist sizes increased. As a final point, participants who took part in frequent physical activity had a lower incidence of hearing loss.

Obesity And Children’s Hearing

A study on obese versus non-obese teenagers, carried out by Columbia University Medical Center, concluded that obese teenagers were twice as likely to develop hearing loss in one ear than teenagers who were not obese. These children experienced sensorineural hearing loss, which is caused by damage to sensitive hair cells in the inner ear that convey sound. This damage led to 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 often don’t detect they have a hearing issue so when they have hearing loss it’s particularly worrisome. If the issue isn’t addressed, there is a possibility the hearing loss could worsen when they become adults.

What is The Connection?

Researchers suspect that the association between obesity and hearing loss and tinnitus is based on the health symptoms related to obesity. High blood pressure, poor circulation, and diabetes are all tied to hearing loss and are frequently the result of obesity.

The inner ear’s anatomy is very sensitive – comprised of a series of little capillaries, nerve cells, and other delicate parts that must stay healthy to work effectively and in unison. It’s essential to have strong blood flow. High blood pressure and the constricting of blood vessels brought about by obesity can impede this process.

The cochlea is a part of the inner ear that receives sound vibrations and transmits them to the brain for interpretation. The cochlea can be harmed if it doesn’t get optimal blood flow. If the cochlea gets damaged, it’s normally irreversible.

Is There Anything You Can do?

Women who remained healthy and exercised regularly, according to a Brigham and Women’s Hospital study, had a 17% reduced likelihood of getting hearing loss in comparison with women who didn’t. Reducing your risk, however, doesn’t mean you have to be a marathon runner. Walking for a couple of hours each week resulted in a 15% decreased 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 you have a child or grandchild in your family who is overweight, discuss steps your family can take to promote a healthier lifestyle. You can incorporate this program into family get-togethers where you all will do exercises that are fun for kids. They may do the exercises on their own if they enjoy them enough.

Talk to a hearing specialist to determine if any hearing loss you may be experiencing is associated with your weight. Weight loss promotes better hearing and help is available. This individual can perform a hearing test to confirm your suspicions and advise you on the measures needed to deal with your hearing loss symptoms. A regimen of exercise and diet can be recommended by your primary care doctor if necessary.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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