Can Heart Disease Cause Hearing Loss?
Each February, hearts are top of mind for many people because of Valentine’s Day and all of the pink and red hearts you see everywhere. But there’s another reason to focus on hearts this time of year. February is American Heart Month, a time to raise awareness of the effects of heart disease and how to minimize your risk.
While a good heart is important for your overall health, did you know your heart also plays a big role in your hearing? Continue reading to find out why your hearing health is yet another reason to maintain a healthy heart.
Healthy heart, healthy hearing
How does your heart affect how you hear? Your heart is responsible for pumping blood and bringing oxygen and other nutrients throughout your body. With cardiovascular disease, such as a buildup of plaque in the arteries, the heart has to work much harder to do this. As a result, certain parts of the body might not get the nourishment they need to work properly – your ears included.
The tiny hair cells and nerves in your inner ear need good blood flow in order to pick up the sounds that allow you to hear. Without good blood flow to bring needed oxygen, these fragile cells and nerves can become damaged or destroyed, leading to permanent hearing loss.
Many researchers believe the inner ear is often the first part of the body to be affected by heart disease. A 2017 study confirmed that heart conditions such as arterial disease and a history of cardiovascular disease indicate a higher risk of developing hearing loss. Hearing loss can be a warning sign of possible heart issues for some people. So, if you have hearing loss, it might be an indicator to see a doctor about your heart health as well.
Hear with all your heart
While there are many reasons to maintain a healthy heart, the ability to maintain your hearing is another one. Proper diet and exercise, and avoiding cigarettes and second-hand smoke, are just some of the ways to keep your heart healthy, which can in turn help you hear properly.
If you suspect you already have hearing loss, take Signia’s easy-to-use online hearing test. You can then follow up by scheduling an appointment with a hearing care professional nearby. Your hearing care professional can evaluate your hearing loss and recommend if hearing aids can help restore your hearing.
If you do have hearing loss, make sure to speak with your doctor to determine if heart disease, or any other health issue, may be the cause and what you can do to improve your overall health.