The Ears Are The Window To The HeartJan 13, 2014
Heart disease is the number one killer of women, and it takes the life of one American every minute. But even with these statistics, many Americans don’t know how heart disease can affect them, or their hearing. Learn about the connection between your hearing and your heart…
We hear a lot about heart disease in the news, because it is one of the biggest killers in America today. Research has shown that there is a connection between cardiovascular disease and diabetes, cancer and several mental illnesses. But what about a link between cardiovascular disease and hearing? You may not think there is a connection, but research is showing us that there is a link between the two. And it’s a strong one.
The Link Between Hearing And Heart Health
To put it simply, research has shown that there is a link between a healthy cardiovascular system and good hearing. When your heart, arteries and veins are clear and strong, blood flows freely through them. But when there is blockage or damage to these vessels, blood flow is diminished. This can lead to diminished blood flow to the vessels in your inner ears, and this lack of blood flow can contribute to hearing loss.
Cardiovascular Disease Can Damage The Inner Ears
Dr. David Friedland from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee has been studying the link between hearing and heart health for years, and says, “The inner ear is so sensitive to blood flow that it is possible that abnormalities in the cardiovascular system could be noted here earlier than in other less sensitive areas of the body.” That means that damage or low blood flow to the inner ear blood vessels could lead doctors to check for cardiovascular disease, essentially making what’s happening in the ears a window to what’s happening in the heart.
Studies Support The Link Between The Ears And The Heart
Dr. Friedland published a study in The Laryngoscope where he and his fellow researchers found that those patients with peripheral artery disease had similar audiogram patterns. The researchers concluded that patients with low-frequency hearing loss should be considered at risk for cardiovascular disease, and seek appropriate medical care to follow up on that risk factor.
Healthy Heart Leads To Healthy Hearing
Another study published in the American Journal of Audiology in June 2010 reviewed 60 years of research and found a link between poor cardiovascular health and poor hearing, and a link between improved cardiovascular health and improved hearing – again cementing the link between the ears and the heart.
All of this research shows us how important cardiovascular health is to hearing health, and that getting your hearing tested by an experienced audiologist is not just good for your ears, it’s good for your heart.
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