The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) is promoting awareness of the links between cardiovascular health and hearing loss in recognition of World Heart Day on September 29. The BHI recommends that everyone 40 and older get their hearing tested as a routine part of their medical care.
A strong link has been proven to exist between healthy hearing and healthy hearts. Starkey Hearing Technologies Vice President of Audiology and Professional Relations, Dr. Dave Fabry, said many cardiologists view the ear as a reliable barometer of cardio health in aging individuals.
“If you’re old than 65 and are losing your hearing but have no history of noise exposure or family history of hearing loss, doctors believe it could be an indicator of hypertension or cardio disease,” said Fabry.
Fabry said the indicators result from how blood flows through the inner ear. “It’s a part of the ear that has very small capillaries,” he said. “If there is any cessation of blood flow to those areas, it can cause damage to the ear and create hearing problems.
It’s not unlike diabetes or vision problems. We need to do a better job raising awareness for those links”.
That means healthy veins and arteries plays a large role in your overall hearing health. When these elements of your body’s system are functioning properly, you can be sure that blood is flowing to parts of your body, like the ear, without interference.
Its also another indicator of the dangers of smoking, which studies have shown is linked to hearing loss and is known to damage blood vessels and cause hardening of the arteries.
As with studies linking depression and social isolation or dementia and memory loss, the relationship between cardio health and hearing loss is another testament to Starkey’s “Hear Better, Live Better” philosophy. The value of knowing how healthy hearing directly impacts a person’s overall health will help people better understand medical causes of hearing loss that can be attributed to viruses, bacteria, tumors, stroke or certain types of medications.