We often think of weight as a problem that affects us in realms such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Increased weight brings with a host of physiological problems. Did you know that obesity also leads to increased chances of developing hearing loss?
Our hearing occurs as a result of a number of complicated processes that occur within the inner ear and the brain. Our delicate hair cells pick up sound signals from the environment, which are then converted to electrical impulses that are sent to the brain. The brain interprets these signals into decipherable sounds. The crux of our hearing depends on those tiny hair follicles within our inner ear, which need lots of oxygenated blood supply to survive.
The problem with obesity is that it restricts your blood flow throughout the body. This obviously puts pressure on your heart and can cause problems like hypertension or heart disease. However, this lack of blood flow means that your ears also get an insufficient supply of oxygen. This can cause permanent damage to the hair cells in the inner ear, which do not regenerate once they die. As a result, you may get permanent hearing loss.
The fat in the body of overweight individuals is what interferes with proper blood flow. Restricted blood flow means lack of nourishment throughout your body, especially your ears. Research from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine found that excessive belly fat is the actual culprit for this lack of blood flow in obese individuals. Once belly fat is reduced, the arteries are able to expand once more, and are able to supply oxygenated blood throughout the body.
We love eating those cheeseburgers and extra large fries, but we seldom think about the effect that has on our body. Our body as well as our hearing may have to pay the price for our momentary indulgence. It is important to take good care of ourselves, which includes taking care of our hearing health. We can do this by eating right and exercising regularly.
It is not a sin to enjoy food, but it is important to take care of our overall health so that we can continue to enjoy these delicious feasts for all our days to come. We can do this simply by exercising regularly and choosing the right kinds of food to eat.
Eat foods that are rich in minerals such as zinc, phosphorous, and magnesium. Eat lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fish. We do not need to compromise on taste if we know how to make delicious meals out of simple, fresh, and organic ingredients.
Include a daily exercise routine to enhance the blood flow to keep our bodies and our ears healthy. Be it a simple walk in the park for 30 minutes, or a yoga routine in the comfort of your own home, take time out every single day to include physical activity into your daily routine. This will help increase the blood supply to your body and give your ears a healthy boost of oxygen.
Obesity is an on-going problem in America, as the portion sizes continue to get bigger and bigger. We can take steps to minimize the damage to our hearing and overall health by taking care of ourselves.
Dr. Hubik received her bachelor of science degree in communication disorders as well as her doctorate of audiology from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC). In her youth, Dr. Hubik became interested in helping people with hearing loss to communicate more effectively and therefore pursued a degree in this field. Born and raised in this area, Dr. Hubik grew up in Anton, Texas and appreciates working with the people of West Texas. Dr. Hubik opened Cornerstone Audiology in March of 2007. She and her team are proud to serve the hearing needs of this community.