Hearing Loss & RelationshipsSeptember 15, 2022
Protect Your Hearing: It Connects Us to OthersSeptember 26, 2022
Maintaining a healthy weight and staying in shape have numerous benefits for health. However, many people find their number on the scale is higher than they would like, and overall health can be affected. One element often overlooked is how hearing health is related to a person’s weight.
A study by the Brigham and Women’s Hospital shows women with a higher body mass index (BMI) and a larger waist size have a greater risk of hearing loss. The study saw 68,000 women participate, and those who had a higher number on the scale were up to 25 percent more likely to experience hearing loss.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital is an academic medical center in Boston, Massachusetts, and is a major teaching hospital of the Harvard Medical School.
The connection between obesity and hearing loss is common issues often found in those who are overweight, such as high blood pressure and poor circulation. The inner ear’s small capillaries and nerves are susceptible to damage due to those same issues.
Diabetes and Pre-diabetes also have been found to have a relationship with higher rates of hearing loss. In the U.S., hearing loss is twice as common in people diagnosed with diabetes. And hearing loss for the estimated 133 million people living with prediabetes is 30 percent higher, according to a study reported by the American Diabetes Association (ADA).
High blood sugar levels, directly related to diabetes, can cause nerve damage in many parts of the body, including the nerves and small blood vessels in the inner ear. Low blood sugar levels can also damage how “the nerve signals travel from the inner ear to the brain. Both types of damage can cause hearing loss,” according to the CDC.
All family members can benefit from healthy eating habits and exercise and weight loss can positively affect a person’s overall health, including lower the chances of hearing loss. However, once inner ear nerves and blood vessels are damaged, it is unlikely to reverse.
If you are experiencing signs of hearing loss, please get a hearing evaluation. Hearing loss can be devastating for an individual and their family if left untreated. Knowing the signs of hearing loss can make a difference in quality of life.
A few signs hearing loss can include:
- Asking others to repeat themselves or to speak more slowly
- Listening to the TV or media devices too loud for others
- Issues hearing in crowded spaces, like restaurants and social events
- Thinking others are mumbling
- Difficulty hearing on the phone
- Frequently unsure of what direction a sound is coming from
- Difficulty hearing sounds, like a car’s turn signal, beeping of timers, or birds chirping
- Ringing in the ears or symptoms of tinnitus
A few consequences of untreated hearing loss can include:
- Social isolation and withdrawal
- Depression and anxiety
- Communication issues
- Cognitive decline, including dementia
- Decline in self-esteem
- Economic and educational disadvantage
- Balance issues
The inner ear also helps to control an individual’s balance. Untreated hearing loss increases the risk of falls and injury.
If you suspect you are experiencing symptoms of hearing loss, please call Miracle-Ear and schedule a complementary hearing evaluation. There is never any obligation to purchase anything for this service.
Click here to schedule an appointment with your local Miracle-Ear location.