Understanding the Link Between Hearing Loss and Heart Disease

doctor drawing heart

Although it may be an unexpected connection, research shows that having a healthy cardiovascular system is good for your auditory system as well.

February is American Heart Month, making it an ideal time to learn more about heart disease and how preventing it can improve your hearing health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, with 630,000 Americans dying from it each year.

Audio Help Hearing Centers – with locations in New York City, Scarsdale, and Stamford, Connecticut – want to remind you about the surprising link between hearing loss and heart health.

The connection is all about blood flow, which begins with the heart. The tiny hair cells of the inner ear – responsible for translating noise into recognizable sound for the brain – depend highly on proper circulation to work properly. Poor circulation reduces the amount of oxygen these hair cells receive, and they can die off. Because they do not regenerate, this results in permanent hearing loss.

With this link between the heart and hearing in mind, any hearing loss could be a sign of cardiovascular problems. It’s important to take lifestyle measures that could prevent damage to both our heart and ears.

One change you can make is to increase physical activity. One small study from researchers at Miami University in Ohio found a direct correlation between cardiovascular health and hearing abilities. Subjects’ hearing was evaluated after riding a stationary bike. Those with higher fitness levels tended to have better hearing – particularly in subjects older than 50.

Another study from researchers at the University of Mississippi discovered that individuals who were more physically fit showed lower levels of triglyceride. High triglyceride levels are often tied to hearing impairment.

Other changes to make include:

  • Quit smoking: Kicking the habit reduces your risk of both heart disease and hearing loss.
  • Eat better: A heart-healthy diet will help you live longer and promote good hearing. Make sure you get plenty of fruits, vegetable, fish and whole grains. Reduce foods high in salt and saturated and trans fats.

Because hearing loss is connected to heart disease and other health conditions, it’s important to schedule an appointment with a hearing professional if you’re concerned about your hearing. For more information about Audio Help’s services, call us at 888-832-9966 or contact us online.