Your heart is the most important organ in your body. It pumps blood throughout your body, providing your cells with the oxygen and nutrients they need to survive. But did you know that your heart health can also affect your hearing? In this blog post, we will discuss how heart health can impact your hearing, and we will provide some tips for keeping your heart healthy.
How Does Your Heart Affect Your Hearing?
Your heart health can affect your hearing in a few different ways. For example, high blood pressure can damage the tiny blood vessels in your inner ear, causing them to become less efficient at delivering oxygen-rich blood to your cells.
This can lead to hearing loss. Additionally, atherosclerosis can reduce blood flow to the cochlea, which is the part of the inner ear responsible for processing sound. Poor circulation caused by atherosclerosis can also damage cells and lead to hearing loss.
What is the Link Between Heart Health and Hearing Loss?
The link between heart health and hearing loss is not fully understood, but there are a few theories. One theory is that poor circulation can lead to changes in the inner ear, affecting hearing. Another view is that some of the same risk factors contributing to heart disease may also increase hearing loss.
There are a few studies that have looked at this link specifically. For example, one study found that people with cardiovascular disease were more likely to experience hearing loss than those without cardiovascular disease. Another study found that people who had a history of heart attacks or strokes were more likely to experience hearing loss than those who did not have these conditions.
These studies suggest that there may be a link between heart health and hearing loss, but more research is needed to confirm this. If you are concerned about your risk of hearing loss, it is essential to talk to an audiologist about your overall hearing health and any potential risk factors you may have.
What are Some Tips for Keeping Your Heart Healthy?
There are a few things you can do to keep your heart healthy and reduce your risk of hearing loss. Some of the most critical include:
- Quit smoking: Cigarette smoke contains toxins that can damage the cells in your inner ear, leading to hearing loss.
- Limit alcohol intake: Too much alcohol can increase your blood pressure and damage the tiny blood vessels in your inner ear.
- Stay active: Exercise helps keep your heart healthy by lowering blood pressure and reducing stress levels. It is also good for circulation, which is vital for keeping the cochlea healthy.
- Eat a balanced diet: A diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol can increase your risk of atherosclerosis. Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains can help reduce your risk of this condition.
- Monitor your blood pressure: High blood pressure can damage the cells in your inner ear and lead to hearing loss. If you have high blood pressure, work with your doctor to control it.
How Can an Audiologist Help with Hearing Loss Related to Heart Health?
If you are experiencing hearing loss and have been told by your doctor that it may be related to heart health, it is essential for you to see an audiologist. An audiologist can help diagnose the type of hearing loss you have and provide treatment options.
If you are already being treated for heart disease, it is important to let your audiologist know so they can make sure any treatments they prescribe will not interfere with your heart-related treatments. Some common treatments for heart-related hearing loss include:
- Hearing aids: Many people with heart-related hearing loss find that wearing hearing aids helps to improve their listening skills and quality of life.
- Assistive listening devices: These devices can help you hear better in challenging listening situations, such as in a restaurant or during a conversation in a noisy room.
- Speechreading and lip-reading: If you have difficulty understanding speech, even with hearing aids or other assistive devices, learning how to read lips and facial expressions can be helpful. Many books, videos and online courses are available to help you learn these skills.
If you are experiencing hearing loss, don’t wait to seek treatment. Getting help early can prevent your hearing loss from getting worse and improve your quality of life. An audiologist can help you find the right treatment option suited to your situation. For more information on heart-related hearing loss, visit Albuquerque Hearing and Balance website or get in touch at (505) 750-9569.