Heart health and hearing loss may be connected

February 18, 2015 Swedish Blogger

Could hearing loss be an indicator for cardiovascular disease? February is American Heart Month so it is a perfect time to bring up this question. More and more research has been showing that there is a link between people’s cardiovascular health and their hearing. This is yet another important reason for middle-aged and older adults to get their hearing tested.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and it accounts for nearly 30% of all deaths worldwide. Fortunately, early intervention and identifying important risk factors for cardiovascular disease has decreased its incidence. Despite the medical advances in recent decades, there is still a need for more sensitive screening techniques to identify heart disease sooner.

This is where hearing testing could come in. The tiny blood vessels in the inner ear are particularly sensitive to any changes in blood flow that could be caused by cardiovascular disease. What this means is that heart disease will damage one’s organ of hearing sooner than it will cause damage to other major organs. In a study published in 2009, Dr. David Friedland and his colleagues found that certain patterns of hearing loss correlated with cerebrovascular and peripheral artery disease. Along the same lines, a study done by Hull & Kerschen in 2010 concluded that impaired cardiovascular health has a negative effect on both the peripheral and central auditory system.

Early detection is essential to treating heart disease. Due to the connection between hearing and heart health, it is beneficial to have a hearing test as part of one’s routine medical care. To learn more about hearing loss and how it is connected to one’s health, visit the Better Hearing Institute website. For more information on heart disease, visit the American Heart Association website.

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