Obesity in Teens Can Lead to Hearing Loss

  • Added:
    Jul 09, 2013
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Photo by Misha Dontsov

A new research by US scientists has suggested that obesity in teens can lead to hearing loss. According to the study, obese teens have more chances to suffer hearing loss than their same age friends with normal weight. Researchers have also found that over weight adolescents  suffered hearing loss across all frequencies. They are twice as likely prone to unilateral (one sided ) low frequency hearing loss than peers of their age. 

The study states that teen obesity is closely tied to sensorineural hearing loss across all frequencies. Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by damage to the inner ear hair cells. Stats At least 15 percent of over weight teens are prone to low frequency hearing loss as compared to just 7.89% of normal weight adolescents. Patients suffering from low frequency hearing loss cannot hear sounds in frequencies of 2000 hz or below. Normal hearing range is 20 hz to 20,000 hz.

Approximately 1500 teens between the age of 12 to 19 were screened to conclude that obesity is closely linked with hearing loss. Some of the factors that were taken into consideration to reach a conclusion were- history of noise exposure, Family history and current medical conditions. US scientists have suggested that obese teens are not aware of their hearing loss and it can affect hearing loss treatment process. In order to help prevent cognitive and behavioural hearing issues, they should get regular hearing tests done.

Symptoms of hearing loss in Teens-

  • Listening to radio, music or television louder than before
  • Avoiding social interaction due to hearing issues. Social situations may begin to become stressful and affect self esteem resulting in depression.
  • Unable to distinguish words especially when then are noises in the background or when people are talking in a group.
  • Difficulty in speaking over the phone.
  • Ringing or buzzing sound in the ear when there is no such sound in the environment.
  • Ear pain or infection


Hearing loss can affect one's social and personal life and results in low self esteem. Family and friends can help the person fight hearing loss by taking the person to a good audiologist for a hearing test. A thorough hearing test will help the audiologist determine the kind of hearing loss one is suffering from. On the basis of the outcome of the test, the audiologist will suggest hearing aid that suits the best to the person suffering hearing loss. The sooner one goes for a hearing test, the better are chances to emerge victorious in the fight against hearing loss.

Author's Profile

Adnan Hafiz runs Global Hearing, a hearing clinic in melbourne that offers hearing loss treatment. We also provides free hearing test to patients in Melbourne.


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