Hearing Loss and Heart Health – How the Two Go Hand in Hand

 

It’s pretty incredible how our bodies function – certain symptoms in one area of our anatomy can often clue physicians into an underlying condition in a completely separate portion. The way each individual body part is designed to work within a larger whole can really remind us that our health affects more than just our waistline or energy level.

There’s a lot of emphasis from healthcare professionals for us to specifically take care of our hearts, as heart disease takes the lives of many people each year. Yet aside from this risk, an unhealthy heart can also wreak havoc on other parts of our bodies, especially our hearing.

How the Two Are Linked

Understanding how heart disease and hearing loss are related requires a bit of brief knowledge about how our ears work. The ability to hear sounds clearly requires multiple small parts of our inner ears to work together while being fueled by the blood flow in our bodies. As far back as 1994, scientists discovered that the reason hearing health and heart health are related has to do with this flow of blood or lack thereof.

An individual with heart disease ends up with a decreased blood flow to their ears, which in turn affects their ability to function at peak performance. It became clear within the medical community that symptoms of hearing impairment were often directly caused by heart disease.

What’s more interesting to note is that researchers believe that hearing loss can often come first before one’s heart disease is detected, acting almost like a warning signal. This realization only further supports the recommendation to visit your hearing health professional should you notice any signs of reduced hearing ability.

How to Keep a Healthy Heart

Since healthy hearing requires a healthy heart, how can you keep heart disease at bay and thus preserve the health of your ears? Follow some of these tips to maintain optimal heart health:

  • Getting 7 hours of sleep per night seems to be a lucky number so to speak. Individuals who get more or less than 7 hours have been found to have more calcified arteries than others.
  • Quit smoking, entirely. Both traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes can damage your heart over time, so letting go of the habit is your best bet for heart health.
  • Focus on a healthy diet with a reduced intake of sugar, salt, and alcohol. These items can be consumed in moderation every so often, but the goal should be to eat balanced meals full of whole foods.
  • Keep your blood pressure down through diet, exercise, and managing your stress. Getting your blood pressure checked every few years can help to detect any heart problems before they become serious.

A Whole Body Approach

Taking steps toward a healthy heart is a fantastic way to ensure you’ll have healthy hearing for years to come. Remember, the healthier your body is as a whole, the easier you can detect any symptoms that seem out of the ordinary. Along with regular medical care, make it a priority to visit your hearing health provider to ensure the health of your ears for years to come.