As with many other health issues, hearing loss is commonly linked to various additional health conditions. It is only within the last several years that hearing loss has been linked to disabling health conditions. Hearing loss creates a sort of petri-dish that cultivates the progression of other health issues. Hearing loss supports social isolation and loneliness, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, such as serious cognitive decline connected to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, clinical depression, balance and fall issues among the older demographic, heart disease and more. Because of these facts, it is more important than ever to take care of your hearing health.
According to the American Heart Association, “Heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women, with nearly 787,000 deaths in the United States linked to heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases… Recently a growing body of research is also linking hearing loss and heart disease. A study conducted by Harvard University cited a staggering relation between heart disease and hearing loss finding ‘hearing loss occurred 54% more often in people with heart disease than in the general population.’ Hearing loss is one of the most common physical ailments for the general public, third only to heart disease and arthritis respectively.”
The Link Between Hearing Loss and Your Heart
Circulation is the link between hearing loss and heart disease. Within our inner ears we have tiny hair cells that are responsible for sending sound signals to the brain. These hair cells are very small and vulnerable to poor blood flow and circulatory issues. When blood vessels narrow, blood flow is reduced. If these hair cells do not receive adequate oxygen supply through blood circulation, the hair cells can be irreparably damaged, resulting in diminished hearing capabilities. This situation can also be a sign of a bigger cardiovascular health issue as well.
According to the American Academy of Audiology, “The relationship between heart disease and hearing loss has been studied over the years… It is believed that CVD [cardiovascular disease] can reduce blood flow to the ear and in turn cause damage to different parts of the auditory system. This damage typically results in a sensorineural hearing loss which is permanent…”
How to Avoid Heart Disease and Associated Hearing Loss
There are three simple ways you can change your daily habits to support warding off heart disease and associated hearing loss, such as avoiding smoking, adding exercise to your daily routine and eating a heart-healthier diet. Although heart disease can lead to hearing loss, many of the things we do to keep our hearts healthy can also support better hearing capabilities.
According to David R. Friedland, MD, PhD, Professor and Vice-Chair of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and leading researcher in the area of the heart-hearing link, “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. Subsequently, a healthy cardiovascular system can have a positive impact on hearing. It’s important to adopt a lifestyle that supports both a healthy heart and healthy hearing.”
If you believe you are already living with untreated hearing loss, it is important to speak with a hearing healthcare professional regarding your hearing impairment and the possibility you are at risk for heart disease. The best way to find out for sure is to get a hearing test.
At Physicians Hearing Solutions, our hearing healthcare professionals are fully licensed and trained in providing each patient with the best hearing healthcare options available for their specific needs. From our ENTs (Otolaryngologists) to our Audiology team, National Board-Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist and our office staff, all our patient’s needs are met with accuracy every time.
We want you to know you can trust that you are getting the highest quality hearing healthcare each time you come to see us. Our goal is to improve your quality of life through providing you with the quality hearing healthcare you deserve. We offer complimentary complete Diagnostic Hearing Screenings. Please don’t wait, call today, (401) 921-0181 Warwick, Rhode Island office, (401) 435-5355 East Providence, Rhode Island office.