“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…” When Julie Andrews sang about her favorite things in the movie A Sound of Music, a trip to the audiologist was not on her list. But Julie Andrews probably didn’t know this important fact: Our ability to hear can reveal problems related to our cardiovascular health. Did you know that by taking care of your hearing, you are also taking care of your heart?
We often accept hearing loss as a result of the aging process, but for the sake of our overall health, we must acknowledge and treat our hearing problems. Here’s why:
Your Quality of Life is At Stake
Auditory impairment is the fourth leading cause of disability worldwide. The World Health Organization estimates 466 million people suffer from hearing loss. Hearing loss not only affects people's ability to enjoy certain sounds, but it also affects one's quality of life -- it can lead to social isolation which can contribute to anxiety and depression. Hearing loss may also be a precursor to a more insidious health problem: there is strong evidence that shows hearing loss is linked to serious underlying health conditions such as heart disease.
Listen to the Facts: Why Hearing Loss Can Be An Indicator of Heart Disease
In a study conducted by the Audiology research journal published in 2021, researchers found that a certain degree of hearing loss is associated with various diseases, one of which is heart disease. The research concludes that adults who reported experiencing moderate to significant hearing loss are five times more likely to have heart disease and are at a higher risk for high blood pressure and stroke.
To put it simply, having good hearing means ensuring good health.
The Heart of the Matter: How is Hearing Loss and Heart Disease Related?
While we may not consider the connection between our ears and our heart, various research studies prove a direct correlation between these two health problems. Evidence shows that cardiovascular disease has a negative impact on hearing health, and improved cardiovascular health has a positive impact on hearing health.
It all comes down to blood flow. Blood carries essential nutrients to various organs of the body, including the inner ear.
Our arteries are blood vessels that are responsible for supplying nutrient-rich blood throughout the body. Heart disease occurs as a result of plaque buildup, which leads to the hardening of the arteries (a condition called atherosclerosis). Hardened arteries can result in impaired blood flow and cause damage to various organs of the body, including the delicate organs inside of our inner ears. These sensitive, tiny inner ear organs are especially vulnerable to diminished blood flow due to atherosclerosis. Impaired blood flow will result in damage to our auditory system, which leads to hearing loss.
It Helps to Listen to Your Heart
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease.” Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. In addition to heart attacks, heart disease can lead to heart failure, stroke, and other vascular diseases.
Fortunately, heart disease can be preventable. A healthy diet, active lifestyle, avoidance of smoking, and blood pressure control are things you can do to lower your risk of heart disease. For more information on how to prevent heart disease, consult your primary care doctor or your cardiologist.
What Can You Do?
Listen to your body. Put your health first. Hearing Unlimited understands that hearing loss may be an indication of a larger health issue.
Are you struggling with hearing loss? You are not alone. Hearing loss affects an estimated one in five adults, which roughly equates to 29 million people in America. Our audiology care team is here to help you navigate through uncertainties as you journey toward better hearing and overall health.
Schedule a visit with one of the audiologists at Hearing Unlimited. We stay up to date on the latest research in hearing studies and on advancements in hearing technology, and the broad range of comprehensive audiological testing and treatment services we provide are targeted toward assessing your hearing and providing you with personalized care.
The audiologists at Hearing Unlimited have the expertise to help you maintain your hearing health and prevent disease during this crucial time. Get your healthy hearing plan started today - contact us online or by phone to schedule an appointment, and be sure to take advantage of our services and resources.