Hearing loss is an important health issue for people of all ages, but it’s often overlooked or misdiagnosed because it’s hard to detect. Even if you’re unaware of any deficits, you may lose some of your hearing ability where you might require hearing aids in Victoria BC.
The connection between obesity and hearing loss isn’t surprising when you consider how closely related these two conditions affect your body. Both obesity and hearing loss is linked to higher blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke — all conditions that can cause serious damage if left untreated.
Obesity is a complex condition with many causes. Genetics, metabolism, diet, and lifestyle choices such as smoking and drinking alcohol may affect a person’s weight. However, if you’re overweight or obese, you may be at risk of developing hearing loss that can be progressive and permanent.
Besides hearing loss, being overweight or obese is linked to many other health conditions, including heart disease and diabetes (type 2 diabetes). In addition, it can cause high blood pressure (hypertension), osteoarthritis (a degenerative joint disease), sleep apnea (a sleep disorder where breathing stops during sleep), and depression. These conditions increase your risk of developing hearing loss over time due to their effects on your body’s circulation system or nerve pathways to your inner ear.
What Causes Hearing Loss?
If you have hearing loss, there are many causes you can consider. It’s important to remember that not everyone with hearing loss has the same cause or causes. Here are some of the most common causes of hearing loss:
- Earwax buildup. Glands produce earwax in our ear canal. It cleans and lubricates the ear canal, but if it builds up, it can block sound from reaching your eardrum and cause temporary or permanent hearing loss.
- Restricted blood flow. Oxygen-rich blood flows through our inner ears to deliver oxygen to the tiny hair cells that help us hear. If this blood flow becomes restricted, it can damage those hair cells and cause permanent hearing loss.
- Chronic health issues not managed well. Chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and hardening of the arteries can damage blood vessels in your body — including those in your ears. These conditions can lead to permanent hearing loss over time because they reduce oxygen levels in your inner ear tissues, and cells may die due to a lack of oxygen supply.
- Physical damage to ears. Injury or physical trauma (such as an explosion) may cause temporary or permanent hearing damage when it damages the inner ear structures that transmit sound waves into electrical signals for our brains.
What Can You Do?
If you’re overweight or obese, there are several things you can do to help prevent hearing loss. Here are some tips on how to prevent weight gain’s role in hearing loss:
Eat a healthy diet
Eating a healthy diet is one of the best ways to control your weight and prevent excess fat from building up in your body. You should aim for fruits and vegetables that are low in calories but high in nutrients. Lean proteins like fish and chicken will also help maintain muscle mass which helps burn fat more quickly than fatty foods.
Get regular exercise
Exercising regularly will help reduce the amount of fat stored in your body and improve overall cardiovascular health, which is essential for maintaining healthy hearing throughout life. If you need the motivation to start an exercise program, consider hiring a personal trainer who can help design a workout routine tailored specifically to your needs and goals.
Watch your exposure to loud sounds and noises
If you work in an environment with loud noises, like construction sites or factories, wear earplugs or earmuffs. It’s also important to protect your ears from loud noises at home. If you have children who are learning how to talk, keep the TV at a low volume and avoid playing music too loudly on headphones or earbuds.
Addressing hearing loss concerns early
If you notice a change in your hearing, getting tested and diagnosed as soon as possible is important. If you have age-related hearing loss, you will likely need hearing aids or cochlear implants to hear properly. It’s best to seek treatment before significant damage occurs to the inner ear to retain as much of your hearing as possible.
As it turns out, a few different factors can lead to hearing loss. Whether they’re related to genetic predisposition or issues with the ear, they all begin to add up and lead to auditory nerve damage. For those trying to lose weight, the importance of cardiovascular health should not be understated. It’s not just a question of what your heart can handle in terms of endurance but also what you can handle in terms of pressure on your ear drum.