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Hearing Damage Due to Obesity

Hearing Damage Due to Obesity

People often do not think twice before reaching for that can of soda or that extra slice of pizza. There are also those who go for months without exercising. Unfortunately, by increasing your body weight through unhealthy lifestyle choices you are putting yourself at risk for developing hearing loss.

A recent study by the Harvard Nurses’ Health assessed 68,000 women and found that obesity increased the chances of developing hearing loss. The study was conducted for two decades between 1989 and 2009. The findings indicated that the women with a higher Body Mass Index (a relative number measuring body fat based on height and weight) of 40 and above had a 25% higher likelihood of developing hearing loss. Women with an increased waist circumference of 34 inches and above had a 27% increased risk of having hearing damage. The results were published in the Journal of American Medical Association.

The above study serves as a rude awakening to those who think that obesity is simply a lifestyle choice with no negative consequences. Obesity has adverse health effects and the above study also indicates that excessive body weight can be detrimental to hearing health as well. Thankfully, it was found by the same study that women who exercise for at least 4 hours a week have a 15% decreased risk of developing hearing loss. This means that people can take steps to remedy the detrimental effects caused by obesity on hearing health.

Hearing loss affects people in several aspects, ranging from physiological to psychological. Obesity increases the chances of developing hearing loss. Adequate blood flow is an important factor that contributes towards good hearing.

Obesity results in constriction of blood vessels that can limit the oxygen supply from the blood vessels to the ears. This can lead to hearing loss due to damage to the inner ear caused by lack of oxygen. Other severe medical conditions may also result from obesity, such as diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

People may wonder why having good hearing is important. Hearing is not only one of the five basic senses; it also controls our sense of equilibrium and balance. Damage to hearing can lead to an increased chance of falling down and having an accident. Hearing loss not only affects our physical health, it can also lead to psychological ailments such as depression and anxiety due to social isolation.

If you feel that you might be suffering from obesity, visit a hearing health professional to check your hearing to assess for any hearing damage. Changing simple lifestyle habits by choosing to eat healthy and exercise frequently can help improve your hearing health as well as your general satisfaction from life.