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Hearing Blog

Your Ears Enjoy a Good Workout

By Julie Hubik March 15, 2018

We all enjoy a good workout every now and then. But did you know that not only your body, but also your ears will thank you for your dedication towards exercise. Adding an exercise routine to your daily life has a myriad of health benefits including cardiovascular fitness, elevation in mood, enhanced stamina, and improved sleep. You can also stave off severe health conditions through exercise, such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hearing loss.

As we age, our ears tend to deteriorate in their functioning, which can lead to hearing loss. Due to the constant strain on our ears due to daily exposure to loud noises, our delicate hair follicles in the inner ear suffer from damage, which leads to hearing impairment. Hearing loss affects more than 50% of people aged 75 years and above.

New research from the University of Florida reports that exercising on a regular basis can considerably help delay hearing loss due to age. The study was conducted using mice that all had regular hearing. It was found that the mice that exercised daily had better hearing abilities while the mice that were inactive suffered from hearing damage due to a lower amount of working hair follicles within the inner ear. These sedentary mice also seemed to have a lower amount of spiral ganglion which transmits sounds from the ears to our brain. Idle mice also had a lower supply of oxygen-enriched blood to their ears which led to the deterioration in hearing. Overall, 95% of the mice that were physically active had good hearing, while 20% of the inactive mice suffered from hearing damage.

The study above has been replicated with human beings in the Johns Hopkins University. They found that exercising on a regular basis can actually help prevent the onset of hearing impairment. The study explored senior adults that exercised for about 25 minutes daily (three hours on a weekly basis), compared to those who did not have any physical activity whatsoever. The participants that exercised had a significantly lower occurrence of hearing impairment compared to sedentary seniors.

Age tends to result in various forms of inflammation of nerves or capillaries, which can result in damage to the delicate hair follicles within the inner ear. Being idle can reduce the flow of oxygen in the blood, and lower oxygen in the blood means lower oxygen supply to your ears. Ears, like any other part of your body, require oxygen to function properly otherwise the hair follicles die and lead to hearing loss.

Simple exercises such as a normal walk for half an hour a day can help protect your body from all sorts of health ailments as well as prevent hearing loss due to increased age. As a grandparent, simply running around after your grandchildren can be good exercise. You can also engage in activities such as gardening. Whatever your age, physical activity should always be a part of your daily routine to keep you physically and mentally healthy as well as keep your hearing in top shape.

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