A Link between Hearing Loss & Cardiovascular Disease

A Link between Hearing Loss & Cardiovascular Disease

In hearing health, hearing loss by Laurie Duffy, M.S.

Laurie Duffy, M.S.

The more we learn about hearing loss the more we realize that it is connected to every aspect of our total health. To maintain healthy hearing it is important to take care of every aspect of your health.

Dangers of heart disease

Heart disease is also referred to as cardiovascular disease and is used to describe any condition that involves narrowed or blocked blood vessels. When heart disease advances it can lead to a heart attack, chest pain or stroke. This condition must be taken seriously as it is the leading cause of death in the United States. In fact heart disease is responsible for one in four deaths every year.

Symptoms of heart disease

The sooner you can detect hearing loss the greater your chances of curbing the condition. If you suffer from regular chest pain, a racing heart, dizziness, fainting or numbness in your extremities it is a good idea to make an appointment to get the bottom of these symptoms. Heart disease is often hereditary, so if you have a family history it is a good idea to pay attention to your lifestyle choices early before heart disease can become a serious problem. If you are a smoker, have a stressful life, eat poorly, are heavier set, suffer from hypertension, diabetes or high cholesterol, you are at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease and heart attack. It is also important to note that due to the link between hearing loss and heart disease, if you suffer from problems hearing, your heart could also be at risk.

Link between hearing and heart health

The risk of hearing loss has been documented to be higher in people who suffer from cardiovascular disease by over 50 percent. A study by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that hearing loss is equally as risky for people suffering from diabetes.

While hearing loss might seem to be an ear issue it’s important to understand how hearing works.  The inner ear is very sensitive to blood flow. When people suffer from heart problems it often manifests itself as plaque build up in the arteries that restricts the easy flow of blood. The cochlea is filled with tiny hairs, which pick up sound and send the information to the brain to be processed.  When the cochlea doesn’t get enough oxygen via blood cells, the nerves in the cochlea can become damaged or destroyed.

When the ear does not get an adequate source of blood for an extended amount of time, your ears can suffer permanent damage. “The inner ear is so sensitive to blood flow that it is possible that abnormalities in the cardiovascular system could be noted here earlier than in other less sensitive parts of the body.” explains David R. Friedland, M.D Ph.D., Professor and Vice Chair of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences at Medical College of Wisconsin.

Improve your cardiovascular health today

When you understand the risk of heart disease, you can take control of your life and your heart health, so you can continue to live life to your fullest. Not only will a lifestyle of nurturing a healthy heart protect you from cardiovascular disease, but will improve your quality of life.

Eat a balanced diet

What you put into your body makes a big difference. A diet rich in vegetables and fruits, whole grains, fiber and plant proteins will protect your heart and keep your arteries pumping unblocked. Avoid excess sugar, saturated fats and excess sodium that can lead to diabetes and hypertension.

Exercise regularly

The better your heart health, the better your overall health. When you commit to raising your heart rate for at least an hour and a half weekly you can lower your risk of heart disease significantly and minimize your stress levels. Not only will your heart stay strong but so will your chances of healthy hearing into your latter years.

Healthy hearing

If you are struggling with your hearing health it is important to have your hearing checked as soon as possible. Healthy hearing can help you to connect to others, maintain your sense of independence and keep you staying active and healthy. Find out how we can help improve your hearing and your life today.