While a strong heart is important for your overall health, did you know that your heart also plays a big role in your hearing? In February, hearts are everywhere to celebrate Valentine’s Day. February is also American Heart Month, a time to raise awareness of the effects of heart disease, which includes an increased risk for hearing loss.
How does your heart affect how you hear? Your heart is responsible for pumping blood and bringing oxygen and other nutrients throughout your body. With cardiovascular disease, such as a buildup of plaque in the arteries, the heart works much harder to do this. As a result, certain parts of the body might not get the nourishment they need to work properly – including your ears.
The tiny hair cells and nerves in your inner ear need good blood flow in order to pick up the sounds that allow you to hear clearly. Without good blood flow to bring needed oxygen, these fragile cells and nerves can become damaged or destroyed, leading to permanent hearing loss.
Many researchers believe the inner ear is one the first parts of the body to be affected by heart disease. A scientific review in 2018 of over 5000 health records suggested that heart conditions such as arterial disease and a history of cardiovascular disease correlated with a higher risk of developing hearing loss. Hearing loss, especially low frequency loss, may be a warning sign of possible heart issues for some people. So, if you have hearing loss, it might be an indicator to see a doctor about your heart health as well.
Hearing is what keeps up connected to those we love
While there are many reasons to maintain a healthy heart, the ability to maintain your hearing is a good one!. Proper diet and exercise, and avoiding cigarettes and second-hand smoke, are just some of the ways to keep your heart healthy, which can in protect your hearing.
If you suspect you or someone you love may have hearing loss, take our online hearing quiz. If further testing is indicated make an appointment with us by calling 781-581-1500 for an evaluation, we are here to help!