Even though there is no direct connection between weight gain and hearing loss, studies have shown that the chances of hearing loss are more in people with higher body mass index.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital conducted a study on the female population with higher body mass index and found that they were more prone to hearing loss than their peers. The heaviest people in the study had a stunning 25% of chance of acquiring hearing loss. The study also revealed that waist size was also directly proportional to the risk of getting hearing loss.
Not just in adults, but even in children, the same trend continues. The study by Columbia University’s Medical Center shows that obese teenagers are at a double risk of developing hearing loss in near future compared to their normal weighing counterparts.
So, if there is no direct connection, it would be interesting to know what the hidden connection between hearing loss and weight gain could be. Researchers believe that the risk of hearing loss has something to do with the symptoms of obesity. Obesity can lead to poor blood circulation, diabetes and high blood pressure which have a direct connection to hearing loss.
The inner ear is a very sensitive structure which requires strong blood flow. When obesity occurs, it results in narrowing of blood vessels, causing high blood pressure, and affecting normal circulation. Decreased blood flow will damage the inner ear structure thereby causing hearing loss.
Now that there we know how weight gain affects hearing, the question would be to know if there is a way to prevent this. The same study by the women’s hospital shows that those who exercised have a 17 per cent less chance of acquiring a hearing loss compared to those who exercised the least. Even simple walking is sufficient to prevent hearing loss. Diet control would be another option to control obesity. Food rich in proteins, magnesium, sodium, and potassium will promote healthy hearing. One can incorporate exercises and a healthy diet daily for a healthy hearing life.