Obese Children At Greater Risk For Hearing Loss

by | Jun 27, 2016 | news

Obese Children At Greater Risk For Hearing Loss

The links between childhood obesity and diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer have already been proven over and over again. But now new research is showing us that there is more to childhood obesity than we ever thought.

Obese Teenagers More Likely To Have Hearing Loss

Researchers at Columbia University’s medical school recently completed a study which showed that obese teenagers are twice as likely to develop low-frequency hearing loss compared to their normal-weight counterparts.

Hearing Loss More Common Among Obese Teens

The study was done on 1500 teens aged 12-19, and “obese” was considered as a body mass index (BMI) over the 95th percentile (i.e. those with a BMI higher than 95 percent of their peers). The researchers found that 15.16% of obese teenagers had some degree of sensorineural hearing loss, compared to only 7.89% of non-obese teenagers.

Obesity Can Damage The Inner Ear

The study determined that obesity in adolescents leads to damage in the inner ear, and as obese teenagers become obese adults, hearing loss could follow.

Regular Hearing Tests Help Teens

Regular hearing tests with an experienced audiologist are important for teenagers – particularly obese teenagers – to make sure their hearing is healthy, and stays that way.

Teens Don’t Know When They Have Hearing Loss

It is especially important for teenagers to get regular hearing tests because previous studies have shown that 80% of teens with hearing loss don’t even know that they aren’t hearing fully. Teens who suffer from untreated hearing loss can suffer from cognitive and behavioral issues. This is why it is imperative that teens get their hearing tested on a regular basis.

Get Tested By a Pediatric Audiologist Today

If you know a teenager – particularly an overweight or obese teenager – it is imperative that they begin regular hearing tests with an experienced pediatric audiologist to ensure the health of their hearing.

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Dr. Ana Anzola, CCC-A, FAAA, ABA Principal

Dr. Anzola received her Doctorate degree in Audiology (AuD) from the Arizona School of Health Sciences, and her Master’s Degree in Audiology and her Bachelor's Degree in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology from Towson University. She has been a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) since 1995, board-certified by the American Board of Audiology (ABA), and certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

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