Overeating can lead to being overweight, and that can lead to a number of health problems from heart disease to depression. New research suggests that overweight and obesity could be having a negative affect on your five senses, too. Here are some of the possible risks being overweight could have on your senses and the warning signs that you should look out for.
A number of eye conditions have been linked to obesity. The most common is diabetic retinopathy as a result of Type-2 diabetes (see glossary of ophthalmological terms https://opticiancertification.org/glossary). Overconsumption of sugar can damage blood vessels in the eyes resulting in blurry vision. If you’ve already got diabetes type 1 or 2 and you notice your vision getting blurry, see black spots floating around and feel generally light-headed, it could be a sign that you have diabetic retinopathy and need to see a doctor immediately. Having a BMI over 30 makes you 80 times more likely to develop this condition. Being overweight has also been linked to a higher risk of developing cataracts and AMD.
Your sense of hearing can also be impaired by being overweight. When you’re overweight blood flow is constricted to the ears, affecting your sensitivity to hearing and also possibly developing tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Obesity can also bring on diabetes, which is also a cause of hearing loss. If you are overweight and notice ringing in the ears or find that you’re turning the TV up louder, it’s possible that overeating could be to blame. Dieting could cause your blood pressure to return to a normal rate and lower your sugar levels.
Studies have found that obesity can cause you to develop a greater sense of smell. This might sound like a positive factor, but it could actually be having a negative affect on your eating by making you give in more to food smells.
No studies have found that our sense of taste is affected by being overweight. However, studies with mice have found an interesting correlation between taste and obesity – those with fewer sweet taste receptors on their tongue may be more prone to obesity. This is because those with less sweet taste receptors have to eat more sugar to get the same kick. By this token, those with an unhealthy sugar addiction could have genetics to blame. Sadly, whilst your brain may crave more sugar, you should still stick to sugar consumption guidelines if you want to protect your body.
Obesity can also negatively affect our sense of touch. Heightened blood pressure has been found to lead to neuropathy, a degeneration of the nerves which can result in numbness or random pain. This is most commonly a symptom of obesity-related diabetes. If you experience random stabbing pains or tingling similar to pins and needles without a clear cause, it could be a sign of neuropathy.
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