The Relationship Between Adolescent Obesity and Hearing Loss

July 23, 2019

Often, the causal links between health conditions are surprising and unintuitive. One example of this is a study that showed a significant correlation between adolescent obesity and hearing loss. Obesity is known to be related to a number of other negative health outcomes, ranging from diabetes to heart disease, and now hearing loss can be added to that list.

Luckily, you can fight back against adolescent obesity and hearing loss in Waterloo, IA. Advances in treatment are constantly evolving and giving people more options. Read on to find out more about the link between these two conditions:

  • Study findings: Researchers discovered that the prevalence of audiometric notches in obese individuals compared to normal weight individuals was 24.8 percent to 14.7 percent. The prevalence of high-frequency hearing loss was 14.3 percent among males and 8.1 percent among females. High-frequency hearing loss was again significantly higher among obese individuals compared to normal weight counterparts—17.9 percent to 5.4 percent. Additionally, these individuals were more likely to experience speech frequency hearing loss.
  • Study details: The data used was from the American NHANES 2007-2010 surveys. NHANES is a cross-sectional, nationally representative survey of the U.S. population. A total of 1,469 adolescents participated in the study.
  • Smoking: Adolescent obesity wasn’t the only factor linked to hearing loss. Smokers were found to have a higher incidence of hearing loss as well.

Researchers speculate that obesity leads to hearing loss because the tiny hair cells that detect sound in the inner ear need a steady blood flow and oxygen supply in order to work properly. Obesity makes the heart work harder to pump blood to different parts of the body, thereby making it more difficult to transport blood to the ear. Unfortunately, once these cells are damaged, there’s no way to restore or regenerate them, and the result is hearing loss.

Today’s youth are more susceptible to obesity than ever before. This is due to many people exercising less and eating larger portions than in the past. Eating well and staying active are the best ways to avoid hearing loss for individuals at risk. It also will reduce the incidence of Type-2 diabetes and other health conditions.

What to do about adolescent obesity and hearing loss in Waterloo, IA

For anyone who believes they may have suffered hearing loss, the good news is that technology and medicine are here to help. For decades, Potter’s Hearing Aid Service has been your source for complete hearing aid products and hearing health services in Waterloo, IA.

Our talented team of experts will provide a sound diagnosis and discuss a range of treatment options with you. We sell a wide variety of hearing aid devices, as well as offer fittings, repairs, cleanings and more, including hearing tests. We make sure every customer gets a personalized level of service that directly benefits their hearing. Visit us today or call ahead to arrange an appointment. We look forward to putting our more than 30 years of hearing health experience to work for your ears!

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