Obesity and Hearing Loss

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Losing weight isn’t just a great way to stay healthy and fit into that old pair of jeans, but it’s also a way to help protect your hearing health.

More than one third of all the adults in the United States from 2011-2014 were obese, according to the centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Having a body mass index (BMI) between 25 and 29.9 are considered to be overweight, and those who have BMI’s over 30 are considered obese.

Hearing loss and excess weight

The body’s inner ear consists of a complex system of semi-circular tubes which are filled with fluid and nerve endings. An important part of the auditory system are the hair cells responsible for detecting sound, translating it into electrical signals the brain can interpret.

According to studies, healthy blood flow and oxygen contribute to how these hair cells function. Obesity puts a large strain on the walls of the capillaries, as they struggle to transport oxygen to the hair cells in an efficient way. Once damaged, these hair cells cannot be regenerated, making hearing loss permanent.

Excess weight makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood throughout the body, and obesity can be a defining risk factor. With an increased risk of stroke, high blood pressure can also increase the risk of developing hearing loss, and even lead to ringing in the ears, also known as tinnitus.

Excess weight is the enemy

Healthy hearing is just one of several systems the body is adversely affected by due to obesity. Excess weight and body fat puts a large strain on the heart and negatively effects our circulatory systems. Being overweight also puts individuals at risk of diabetes, most commonly Type 2. According to studies, people with diabetes are twice as likely to develop hearing loss more than those who are not affected by the disease.

Getting Healthy

The best way to stay healthy is to stick to a regimen of diet and exercise. An excellent source of information on staying healthy and physically fit, is consulting with a hearing healthcare professional. They can assess exactly what needs to be done to improve hearing functionality and help to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Visit our website to schedule an appointment today. Remember to eat right, stay active, and protect your hearing.