Obesity and Hearing Loss

Did you know being overweight, can be linked to hearing loss problems?  According to the American Journal of Medicine, obesity raises the risk of having hearing loss problems.  Researches think that it has something to do with narrow blood vessels harming the blood flow.  Due to obesity, the walls of the capillaries have difficulty delivering oxygen to the cells properly.  This can take away from the functionality of the ears.

Antibiotics and Hearing LossHair cells are one of the main parts of the auditory system. The hair cells job is to detect sound and translate it into electrical signals.  After, the sound is transmitted to the brain to be interpreted.  If these hair cells are damaged they can be fixed; therefore, causing permanent hearing loss.  Oxygen is a necessary for the health of these hair cells.  Therefore, if oxygen is not transported properly to these hair cells, they will not function properly.

High blood pressure caused by obesity can also lead to hearing loss.  At a minimum, high blood pressure can lead to tinnitus.  Tinnitus is ringing in the ears.  If a person’s high blood pressure is at its worst in lead to sensitivity to noise, which raises the risk for noise-induced hearing loss.

During a study in the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, more than 68,000 women were studied.  From 1989 to 2009, women were asked detailed questions about their health and daily habits.  In 2009, they were questioned on their hearing.  Throughout the study it was discovered that one in six of these women suffered from hearing loss.   The women with a higher body-mass index (BMI) or larger waist size had more of a chance of having hearing loss problems than women with a normal weight.  These results led to the belief that having a lot of belly fat can leading to hearing loss problems.

If you still have questions about obesity and hearing loss, contact us today to speak with one of our hearing care professionals.