Hearing loss can occur at any age and for many different reasons. One seemingly unrelated cause of hearing loss is weight gain. Find out how the changes that occur when you’re overweight can impact your hearing.
Studies Linking Weight Gain and Hearing Loss
Several studies have demonstrated that weight gain increases the chance of experiencing hearing loss. One Brigham and Women’s Hospital study from 1989 to 2009 had over 68,000 participants. The study showed that women with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher had a 25 percent increased risk of hearing loss than those with a BMI of less than 25. Waist circumference was also a factor. Women with 35-inch or greater waistlines had a 27 percent higher risk of hearing loss than those with a waist circumference under 28 inches.
Another study from Columbia University Irving Medical Center revealed that obese teens are nearly twice as likely as their average-weight peers to experience low-frequency hearing loss in one ear. This makes it more difficult for them to hear in groups or noisy classroom settings. Hearing loss in overweight children is particularly worrisome because the damage is likely to progress as they become overweight adults.
The Effects of Obesity on Your Hearing
Researchers are still exploring the link, but it seems that weight gain causes hearing loss because it affects blood flow. Obesity is associated with diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol, all of which negatively impact circulation. Since the inner ear requires a steady supply of blood and oxygen to function correctly, poor circulation and blood clots caused by obesity and related health problems can lead to less-than-perfect hearing.
How to Reduce Obesity-Related Hearing Loss
If you address the problem early on, you may be able to minimize hearing loss and possibly even recover some lost hearing if obesity is the cause. Here’s how to lose weight, improve your overall health, and protect your hearing:
- Work with your doctor to develop an exercise program. The most physically active women in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital study had a 17 percent lower risk of hearing loss than those who exercised the least.
- Consult a nutritionist. Improving your diet can help lower your cholesterol, regulate your blood sugar, and control your blood pressure to reduce the risk of obesity-related hearing loss.
Restore Your Hearing with Hearing Aids
If you believe you are experiencing hearing loss, whether weight-related or not, visit an audiologist as soon as possible to have your hearing evaluated. The test results will help you take the next step toward restoring your hearing, which may be to start wearing hearing aids.
At Elite Hearing Centers of America, we offer a free 30-day hearing aid trial with some of the best hearing devices on the planet. No cost, no obligation, no kidding. Plus, we guarantee your 100% satisfaction. To schedule your free hearing test and consultation, please call us at 855-432-7354 or contact us online. You’ll be glad you did!