Hearing loss has often been linked to a range of different negative health effects. We often relate it to social withdrawal, depression, isolation and a general drop in your quality of life. However, studies have also pointed at a link between cardiovascular disease and hearing loss.
But what are the signs of this, and should you be concerned?
What does cardiovascular disease mean?
Cardiovascular disease is usually defined as a disease that affects the heart or blood vessels. If your heart muscles aren’t working properly or blood flow in your veins and arteries is limited, then it can be considered a cardiovascular disease. This is often known as hypertension or prehypertension if your blood pressure is above the norm but not elevated.
Hypertension affects around 70 million adults in the United States, making it one of the most common conditions. Since cardiovascular disease is related to hearing loss, it also means that many people in this group are also affected by hearing loss.
What’s the link between hypertension and hearing loss?
Hearing loss can be caused by a number of factors, but it’s clear that high blood pressure is one of the biggest contributing factors. Recent studies have shown that there is a correlation between patients with hypertension and hearing loss. In a study by Dr. Mohan Jagade, a physician in the Department of ENT and head and neck surgery at Grant Medical College and J.J. Hospital, it was revealed that people with elevated blood pressure also experienced a significant increase in hearing loss.
A total of 274 individuals between the ages of 45-64 were evaluated, making it a fairly large sample size that pointed to this discovery. The researchers concluded that hypertension is an accelerating factor in the rate at which our hearing system deteriorates as we age.
The link between hypertension and hearing loss is rather simple to explain. When you have high blood pressure, your blood vessels are damaged. This damage happens across the entire body and not just a single spot or area of your body. This means it can also affect your ears, resulting in the buildup of a fatty plaque that could cause hearing loss.
Has hearing loss been linked to other cardiovascular diseases?
Hearing loss has also been linked to the risk of stroke. The American Heart Association published a group study on the association between sudden hearing loss and strokes. The research discovered that there was a clear link between patients that have experienced a stroke and hearing loss. Those who had severe hearing loss were 150% more likely to experience a stroke within two years of their hearing loss.
In addition, research from Miami University also shows that an active lifestyle can play an active role in maintaining your hearing health and cardiovascular system. The studies showed that the higher the level of cardiovascular fitness, the more likely the subject had better hearing, especially among older participants. This goes to show that improving your cardiovascular health can actively reduce the chances that you develop hearing loss.
What can I do about my hearing loss?
While there is a clear link between hypertension and hearing loss, it doesn’t mean that they can’t be treated. Hearing loss can occur as a result of many things so it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis from a trained audiologist. With their specialized tools, an audiologist can measure exactly how much your hearing has been damaged and also look at the cause of it.
If you believe that you might be at risk of hearing loss due to hypertension, then we also suggest speaking to your physician for more advice. If you’re unsure if you have high blood pressure or not, then it’s a good idea to have your blood pressure checked as the two conditions are directly related. Seeking treatment for both your hearing loss and high blood pressure can help improve your quality of life and potentially even save your life.
Hearing aids are the most common treatment for hearing loss – and your audiologist will walk you through the selection process. This includes selecting the style most appealing to you, as well as the features that will benefit your hobbies and hearing loss severity.
Get in touch today
If you’d like to learn more about the link between hypertension and hearing loss, or if you’d like to book an appointment to have your hearing tested, then we invite you to contact Albuquerque Hearing and Balance today at 505-890-0003. We’d be happy to offer you more advice and schedule a consultation with one of our trained audiologists.