A healthy heart leads to a longer and happier life. Not many people know that heart disease can be related to other health conditions such as hearing loss. A healthy cardiovascular system is important for the auditory system. Too many Americans don’t understand how serious the threat of heart disease is. We want to change that.
It’s necessary for you to know the risks so that you can start taking action in your life to protect your heart and hearing. As your audiologist in Omaha, NE, we’re here to help. Awareness about heart disease and cardiovascular health is the first step, then we can dive into the connection between the heart and hearing loss.
Heart disease and cardiovascular health
Heart disease is a leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. It is estimated that one person in the US dies every 34 seconds from heart disease. We don’t want to scare you with these statistics, rather we hope they show you how serious this topic is.
Heart disease occurs when blood vessels become narrowed or blocked, or if there has been damage to the heart’s muscles, valves or rhythm. Causes of heart disease include high blood pressure (also known as hypertension), high cholesterol (also known as arteriosclerosis), obesity, diabetes, smoking tobacco, physical inactivity and unhealthy eating habits. These things can cause blockages, spasms or ruptures that lead to chest pain, heart disease, heart failure, a stroke or a heart attack.
There are things you can do to prevent heart disease. Move your body for at least 30-60 minutes a day, eat a healthy diet, maintain a healthy weight, get a good night’s sleep, manage your stress, don’t smoke or use tobacco and be sure to get regular health screenings such as blood pressure tests, checking cholesterol levels and screenings for diabetes.
The connection between the heart and hearing loss
There is no direct, causal link between heart disease and hearing loss, however researchers have learned that there is a distinct relationship. Our ears have several small arteries that need sufficient blood flow to function properly. Hair cells located in the cochlea rely on good blood circulation for our brains to interpret sounds.
Heart disease can reduce blood flow to the ears, thus causing damage to the auditory system which can result in sensorineural hearing loss, which is a permanent type of hearing loss, or tinnitus, a ringing in the ears. Pulsatile tinnitus is a type of tinnitus that sounds like a heartbeat, and it is caused by abnormal blood vessels, narrowed arteries, hardened arteries or another vascular issue; this can also warn you of a worsening heart condition.
A stroke might also cause hearing loss if it occurs in the area of the brain responsible for hearing, the temporal lobe. If this happens, a person will likely experience a hearing impairment and long-term changes in their hearing such as the inability to recognize different sounds and words. It’s important to know that heart disease can happen to anyone at any age, just like hearing loss.
See an audiologist in Omaha, NE
Taking care of yourself and seeking professional help right away will benefit your heart and hearing health. We can diagnose the degree of your hearing loss and work with your cardiologist to come up with a treatment plan. Visit your audiologist in Omaha, NE or contact us today with any questions or concerns you may have.