Studies about weight often concern its relation to overall health. Common connections include weight and the risk for or prevalence of heart disease, diabetes, and sleep apnea, to name a few. One topic that doesn’t get as much attention is the connection between weight and risk for hearing loss. But is there a connection?
To understand how weight affects hearing, you need to know about something tiny but important in your inner ear: the hair cell.
The Hair Cell
Your brain doesn’t understand sound waves. Tiny, hair-like structures in your inner ear, called hair cells, translate sound waves into a language — electrical signals — your brain understands. It sends those signals to your brain through the auditory nerve, and your brain interprets the signals as sound information.
Care and Feeding of Your Hair Cells
Hair cells need plenty of oxygen, which they get from strong, rich blood flow. …