Is There a Link Between Obesity and Hearing Loss?

obesity and hearing loss

According to the World Health Organization, around two out of five adults worldwide are overweight. Obesity rates are also rising rapidly. This condition affects 13% of the adult population.

Being obese can be deadly. After all, this condition is linked to heart issues, stroke, and diabetes. It lowers your quality of life and puts you at risk of some forms of cancer.

But what about your hearing health? Is there any connection between obesity and hearing loss?

The Statistics

A 2013 study linked obesity and hearing loss in adolescents. So what did the researchers find?

Around 7.89% of non-obese teenagers had hearing loss. But among obese teenagers, this rate was 15.16%. Thus, being obese almost doubled the risk of hearing loss among adolescents.

This discovery is very worrying.

After all, teenagers are at risk of noise-induced hearing loss too. Permanent hearing damage will make it more difficult for them to do well in life. Communication issues can make it harder to get a job and socialize.

But why does body weight affect hearing health?

Explaining the Connection Between Obesity and Hearing Loss

Researchers aren’t sure yet why these two conditions are linked. This is an important study subject for the future.

The link may come from inflammation. Being obese decreases the production of a certain protein. This leads to inflammation, which results in hearing problems.

There are also indirect ways that being obese can damage your hearing. Bad circulation and high blood pressure can lead to hearing loss.

A Final Word

For now, it would be useful to start screening obese teenagers for hearing loss. After all, early diagnosis can prevent a lot of complications.