Hidden Hearing Respond to Research Which Links Obesity to Hearing Loss

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Leaders in private hearing healthcare, Hidden Hearing, have responded to new research which has linked obesity to hearing problems.

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Scientists found that obesity in teenagers was associated with sudden hearing loss across all frequencies with damage to the inner ear hair cells.

New research has found that obese adolescents suffer increased hearing loss across all frequencies and are twice as likely to develop one-sided, low-frequency hearing loss according to research from the Department of Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery at the Columbia University Medical Center first published online in the Laryngoscope on June 17.

Scientists found that obesity in teenagers was associated with sudden hearing loss across all frequencies with damage to the inner ear hair cells. The highest rates were for low frequency hearing loss, with 15% of obese teenagers compared to 8% of non-obese teenagers developing the problem. Low-frequency hearing loss can cause difficult hearing in groups or in noisy places.

The study analysed data from 1,500 adolescents from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted from 2005 to 2006 by the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The scientists behind the new research are speculating that obesity may directly or indirectly lead to hearing loss, but must carry out additional research to determine the mechanisms involved. However they believe that obesity-induced inflammation could be the culprit behind the hearing loss link.

A spokesperson from Hidden Hearing said:

“The new research provides an interesting new link to the causes of hearing loss. With a possible link between hearing problems and obesity, it is possible to understand other ways we can protect our hearing loss and by taking care of our bodies – our ears could benefit.”

With more than 40 years’ experience in treating hearing loss, Hidden Hearing is entrusted with the care of more than 100,000 people each year. The firm has 84 hearing centres across the UK, all catering for a range of needs and budgets. Specialising in hearing tests and hearing aids, the company also offer a variety of hearing aid accessories and in 2005, became the first dedicated hearing retailer to be recognised as an Investor in People.

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Vicky Moore
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