Heart Health is Linked to Hearing

Many people are unaware that cardiovascular disease can be detrimental to your hearing. Research studies in adults have indicated that individuals with cardiovascular disease are 54% more likely to have a hearing impairment.

This research was conducted through a study at University of Wisconsin in 2002 by the Population Health Program Faculty. They reviewed studies from the last 60 years and confirmed the connection in the American Journal of Audiology in June 2010 issue. They states the impaired cardiovascular health is detrimental to the peripheral and central auditory system.

Researchers believe the connection between heart disease and hearing impairment is through the cardiovascular system’s ability to provide adequate blood supply to the inner ear. The inner ear is responsible for interpreting sounds that are funneled from the outer ear, through the middle ear and collected in the inner ear. The inner ear is responsible for sending signals to our brain where it is interprets into meaningful sound. Blood vessels in the inner ear are dependent on high quality blood supply. Researchers also believe that a diagnosis of low frequency hearing loss may be a good indicator of existing or impending heart disease!

Health professional encourage individuals to engage in at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. Heart healthy can also be improved by limiting use of alcohol, tobacco and recreational and prescription drug use. All of these activities cause blood vessel restriction and can weaken your immune system. Some prescription drugs can also induce and/or exacerbate tinnitus, a condition described as a ringing/whooshing/humming sensation in the ears.