Hearing and your heart
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and when better to discuss matters of the heart? Though most conversations around the heart pertain to love this time of year, we’ll leave that topic to the relationship experts. Instead, we want to discuss the heart’s connection to hearing and hearing loss – a topic more in our comfort zone.
Studies show there is a connection — hearing health and cardiovascular health impact each other. Let’s boil it down.
The heart’s effect on hearing
The key to good hearing is having a healthy auditory system. And the key to a healthy auditory system is sufficient blood flow to critical areas, particularly the cochlea. When circulation to the cochlea is impeded for whatever reason — whether from cardiovascular disease, hypertension or other factors — it can be deprived of vital elements needed to maintain its health and function, like oxygen and glucose. When consistently deprived, it makes sense that hearing loss may result.
A 2010 study published in the American Journal of Audiology proves it. Looking at various research conducted over 60 years, experts from Wichita State University noted that “impaired cardiovascular health” negatively influenced hearing health and concluded there may be “a positive relationship between cardiovascular fitness/health and the function of the … central auditory system in adults.”
Hearing’s effect on the heart
Another study, published in the medical journal The Laryngoscope, found significant association “between low-frequency hearing loss and cardiovascular disease and risk factors.” What’s interesting about this study is the possibility that low-frequency hearing loss can “predict the presence or potential development of cardiovascular disease.” The study’s authors suggest appropriate medical referrals for adults diagnosed with low-frequency hearing loss to assess potential heart-related risks.
What you need to know
Regardless of which affects which, it’s important to know that hearing health and heart health are intertwined. More importantly, if you’re concerned about either, take this month to get a check-up. Visit your medical provider for issues related to your heart, and contact us for a free hearing screening and consultation. Call (256) 881-5457 or contact us to schedule an appointment.