The Ties Between Obesity & Hearing Loss
You might not think your weight can affect your hearing, but obesity can actually be a major factor in hearing loss. See how this relationship works and how to keep yourself safe.
You probably know that excess weight isn’t your friend. But did you know that losing weight isn’t just good for your waistline, but for your ears as well? Many people don’t know that obesity and hearing loss are related. Find out how you can keep your ears healthy by watching your weight.
HOW WEIGHT AFFECTS HEARING
Your inner ear is a complex and sensitive instrument. When sound waves strike your ear drum, it transmits the vibrations to thousands of tiny “hair cells” that line your inner ear. These hair cells bend and move in response to sound vibrations, and it’s this movement that creates the sensation of sound in your ears. Then, other nervous cells send those sensations to your brain.
Unfortunately, these cells aren’t just sensitive to sound. They are also very delicate, and they need lots of blood flow and oxygen to function at their best. If they do get damaged, they don’t regenerate. This is why most forms of hearing loss don’t get better over time.
When someone suffers from obesity, their body’s circulatory system is strained. Obesity causes higher blood pressure, lower circulation, and poor oxygenation of cells. All these factors can lead to damage in the hair cells, which in turn can cause tinnitus and other forms of hearing damage.
Excess weight can also lead to other problems, such as Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, and stroke – and all of these conditions also exacerbate your risk of hearing loss. In short, if you aren’t managing your weight well, your hearing is definitely at risk.
HOW TO KEEP YOUR EARS SAFE
Fortunately, obesity is not a permanent condition. With the right strategy and motivation, anyone can battle obesity and win. Here are a few tips for regaining your health for both your body and your ears.
A healthy diet is a cornerstone to losing weight and fighting obesity. Make sure your diet contains a good mix of high-fiber fruits and vegetables, healthy fats and proteins, and a low level of carbohydrates and sugars. If you aren’t sure what changes you need to make to your diet, speak to your doctor or a nutritionist for advice and guides.
Another important part of losing weight is exercising. Exercise is important for several reasons:
- It improves your circulation, helping strengthen your heart and lower your blood pressure.
- It raises your metabolism and helps burn excess calories.
- It lowers your risk of diseases or conditions associated with obesity such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and even cancer.
- It can help your energy levels and make you feel better.
Remember that you should never start an exercise program without advice from your doctor, especially if you are older or you have other medical conditions. In many cases it’s best to start with low-impact exercises such as walking, water aerobics, and yoga.
If you suffer from obesity, your ears are already at a higher risk for damage. That means you need to take precautions to keep them safe where you can. Make sure you wear hearing protection such as ear plugs or earmuffs any time you are exposed to loud noise. Also, be aware that some of the most common types of noise exposure are also relatively common, like mowing the lawn or turning the volume up too high on headphones.
Finally, one of the best ways to keep your hearing safe is to speak to a hearing professional. At Audio Recovery, we help people with all types of hearing loss to recover and protect their hearing ability. Call us today at 405-949-1906 to schedule your hearing evaluation and learn more about keeping your ears safe. You can also visit us on Facebook to read reviews, news, and more helpful information.