How Heart Health Can Affect Your Hearing

side of man's head and ear

There are various different reasons why an individual may experience hearing loss. For example, it may be the result of prolonged exposure to loud noises, such as in a noisy workplace environment or certain hereditary conditions. 

However, one thing that many adults do not know is that our auditory health is linked closely to our cardiovascular health. As a result, those who experience heart problems, such as cardiovascular disease (CVD) or high and low blood pressure may also notice changes in their hearing over time.

While they may start off really minor if left untreated, hearing loss can have a significant impact on your life, health and happiness. For example, it could cause you to become withdrawn socially if you feel as though you can no longer keep up with conversations or follow what is being said. 

Being aware of the links between cardiovascular health and hearing health is important because it means that those experiencing changes in their hearing are more likely to seek help and support. Despite its prevalence, many adults who experience hearing loss of some kind do not seek out help – with as little as 25% of those who require hearing aids actually using them. As cardiovascular problems are increasingly common, so too is the hearing loss associated with them – meaning that it's important that you address these issues sooner rather than later. 

How Does Heart Health Affect Your Hearing? 

There are various studies that demonstrate the ways in which your hearing and heart health are closely linked. However, to put it simply, heart problems can result in hearing loss because they often come hand in hand with poor circulation, which can damage the cochlea as the cells do not receive enough oxygen to do their job correctly.

These cells are responsible for your ability to hear sounds, as they translate noises into electrical impulses that are then picked up by your brain. Once these cells are damaged, they cannot be repaired, resulting in hearing loss. As mentioned previously, this hearing loss can start off as something minor before declining in severity over time as the hairs continue to sustain damage. 

However, it is also important to note that different heart conditions can impact your hearing health in different ways due to the nature of the condition itself. For example, cardiovascular disease reduces overall blood flow to the ear, which could cause damage to various parts of your inner ear beyond the cochlea – much of which is irreversible and requires the support of an audiologist.

Recent studies have found, for example, that patients with CVD report frequent hearing problems, especially when they are in noisy environments. Many studies suggest that poor heart health can also lead to tinnitus – a symptom of an underlying condition where a person hears loud, high-pitched ringing in their ears. 

How Can I Improve My Hearing Health with a Heart Condition? 

If you have been diagnosed with a cardiovascular condition or are dealing with the complications of a heart problem, then you may also want to book an appointment with an audiologist. This is the easiest way to gain an understanding of your hearing health without giving the issues a chance to develop. As a result, you’ll be able to return to your normal day-to-day activities much sooner and without any unnecessary interruptions. 

Talking with an audiologist is a great way to put your mind at rest, especially if you have been worrying about your hearing loss for some time. They’ll be able to answer any questions you might have – whether you want to discuss treatment options or the links between heart health and cardiovascular problems in more detail. 

If required, your audiologist will be able to provide you with a range of different services designed to improve your hearing. For example, they may recommend tinnitus treatment, earwax removal or even devices such as in-the-canal (ITC), in-the-ear (ITE) or behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. 

At Peninsula Hearing, we have over three decades of experience supporting adults and children with hearing loss, enabling them to make the most out of every day. To find out more about the services we have on offer or to ask any questions you might have about hearing aids or general hearing health; please do not hesitate to get in touch today. You can call us today at Poulsbo: 360-697-3061 or Port Townsend: 360-379-5458.