Obesity is something that many people view as a sign of being unhealthy. It is measured using body mass index (BMI) and studies have shown that a higher BMI value is linked to a higher risk of hearing problems compared to normal-weight individuals. Even though it is not directly linked, science says it could still have an impact on your hearing.
Our inner ear has small components for hearing called hair cells which helps in transmitting the sound to the brain for interpretation. Healthy blood flow ad oxygen determines the health of these hair cells. Since obesity can lead to elevated levels of cholesterol build up within the arteries this could hamper the blood flow and even form blood clots. This can easily damage the hair cells and can cause permanent sensorineural hearing loss.
In addition, excessive weight makes it difficult for your heart to pump blood throughout the body and this leads to hypertension. This condition can also cause hearing loss along with tinnitus. People who are overweight also tend to be diabetic, which again is another risk factor for developing hearing loss. Studies show that type two diabetes mellitus and hearing loss are strongly linked.
Obesity or weight gain related Hearing loss
Can obesity-related loss be treated? This depends on how advanced the hearing loss is. If the hearing loss has already achieved a permanent stage, then you might have to consider going for hearing aids. In case you have just started to notice a change in your hearing, then eating healthy, following a balanced diet and following routine exercise patterns can help in keeping you healthy, remove that excess fat from your body and also ward off all the risk factors that can affect your healthy hearing.
So as mentioned before, even though obesity itself cannot be a direct cause of hearing loss, it does increase the risk for other causes of hearing loss, and it is ideal to keep your weight check at all times. Consult your doctor and they can give you advice on improving your diet plan and your lifestyle.
What happens at the hearing test ?
Hearing is unique for everybody. Hence there is a necessity to use several different techniques and the latest technologies to cater to the hearing needs of an individual. Therefore, an Audiologist would follow the protocol listed below to test your hearing
Your audiologist will take an interview related to your hearing history and this can take about 10-15 minutes. It will mainly deal with the challenges that you are facing, the duration of the problem, any associated medical conditions or complaints, family history of hearing loss and also your balance system. This sessions helps the Audiologist (Speech and Hearing Clinic)to understand the nature of your problem that will aid him/her in initiating a hearing test. The method will also tell the Audiologist about your communication needs and demands and would also help in building a rapport.
The Audiologist would then use a device called an Otoscope to ensure that your external ear canal is free from any foreign bodies or wax that can hinder your hearing sensitivity. It also tells him or her about the status of your eardrum which will give an idea about the condition of your middle ear.
This is the gold standard test of hearing. Your Hearing clinic in pune will place a headphone over your ears or an insert within your ears and will play a few sounds at different pitch and intensity to each ear to track your hearing threshold. You will be asked to press a small button or raise your hand every time you hear the sound. Later, he or she will place a special headband over your ears that will test how well you hear sounds through vibrations.
The audiologist may consider doing other tests that support his or her findings to confirm the diagnosis. This may include immittance to test the middle ear system, otoacoustic emission to test your inner ear and even a brainstem auditory evoked response test to check the functioning of your hearing-related nerve.
Based on the results obtained, your audiologist may advise you to go for a hearing aid and will show you all the available options. He or she may also take a mould of your ear canal so that your new aid fits properly. This procedure is completely harmless and may take 5 minutes. In some cases, if available, you may even get your hearing aid fitted on the very same day. It will be programmed for your needs and you will be oriented about how to use them before you leave the clinic.