Heart Health and Hearing Loss

heart sign

Could your heart health and hearing loss be related?

How does your heart health affect your hearing? Your heart is the organ tasked with pumping blood and delivering oxygen and other nutrients to the rest of your body. For people with cardiovascular disease, who may have a buildup of plaque in their arteries, the amount of effort the heart must expend to do its job is increased, and the jobs it does isn't as effective as it should be.

This can mean that certain "non-vital" parts of the body, which can include your eyes, ears and extremities, may not get everything they require to function properly. This can cause vision problems, hearing loss, and numbness in the fingers or toes – all potential signs of side effects caused by heart disease.

When it comes to your ears, consistent, high-quality blood flow is required by the hair cells and nerves which pick up sounds and transmit them to your brain for translation. If the blood flow needed to deliver oxygen is compromised, damage or destruction of these cells and nerves can occur, which can lead to permanent hearing loss.

Some researchers have concluded that the inner ear may often be affected by heart disease before any other part of the body, making hearing loss a potential early indicator of cardiovascular disease. A 2017 study revealed that certain heart conditions or risks such as arterial disease or a personal or familial history of cardiovascular disease could be connected to the likelihood of developing hearing loss. This means hearing loss patients should have a heart checkup to ensure cardiovascular health has not been compromised.

More than 2300 people die from cardiovascular disease every day. You can help keep your heart healthy with proper diet and exercise and by avoiding high-risk factors like cigarettes and second-hand smoke. A hearing test and evaluation by an audiologist can reveal if you have hearing loss, and hearing aids can be prescribed if necessary, to help you hear better and improve your daily life.

Some researchers have concluded that the inner ear may often be affected by heart disease before any other part of the body, making hearing loss a potential early indicator of cardiovascular disease.