The Link Between Hypertension and Hearing Loss
Your hearing health isn’t just important to help you more aware of the sounds around you, but also to your overall wellbeing. From diabetes and cognitive decline to hypertension, hearing loss has been linked to numerous other health conditions. Hearing loss has been linked to hypertension for the following reasons:
- Hypertension makes blood overwhelm blood vessels in the ear, causing temporary hearing.
- Repeated cases of hypertension accelerate the degeneration of vital hearing organs, causing permanent hearing loss.
- Hearing loss is also associated with stroke and some mild forms of mental illnesses.
The human body is incredibly complex, and many organs and functions are intricately interconnected. To this end, complications in one organ can cause complications in another organ. Similar, one illness can cause another illness. This is the case between hypertension and hearing loss.
Researchers have found conclusive evidence of an association between hypertension and hearing loss. Here is a brief summary of the science behind it.
Hypertension is a cardiovascular disease that affects more than 70 million adults across the U.S. This condition is characterized by a sudden spike in blood pressure. The heart beats faster and harder than usual, sending high-pressure jolts of blood to the head and around the body.
Hypertension has a range of negative health effects around the body, and it is known to cause temporary hearing impairment and potentially accelerates permanent hearing loss.
Hypertension & hearing loss
The heart pumps blood at high speeds to every vein and nerve ending in the body. This includes the delicate organs inside the ear, such as the sensitive eardrum.
Sensitive nerves and blood vessels in the ears are overwhelmed by this sudden burst of blood. To this end, people experiencing hypertension tend to experience temporary hearing loss shortly before the main hypertension symptoms are felt.
Fortunately, temporary hearing loss will fade after the blood pressure stabilizes. However, it may inch you closer to more severe hearing loss. This is because the sudden and powerful burst of blood can cause damages to blood vessels, including bursting the walls of small veins. These damages can build up over time, worsening hearing loss symptoms.
However, it is worth noting that hearing loss is not a standard symptom in everyone experiencing high blood pressure. Several factors contribute to this symptom, including your overall hearing health. Nevertheless, it is prudent to take the necessary preventative measures to maintain your hearing health.
Hearing loss & overall health
The link between hypertension and hearing loss has been proven through scientific research. However, hypertension is not the only condition associated with hearing loss. Hearing loss is known to affect the overall quality of life, including increasing the risk of several conditions.
Hearing loss & stroke
Stroke and hypertension are highly correlated – as are hypertension and hearing loss. However, hearing loss and stroke are also directly correlated, albeit the correlation is not as high as between hypertension and stroke.
Research conducted by the American Heart Association (AHA) found a link between stroke and sudden sensorineural hearing loss. The study found that people who experienced sudden and severe hearing loss were about 150% more likely to experience a stroke within two years of losing their hearing. This is partly attributed to the fact that severe hearing loss can be triggered by severe cases of hypertension, which increases the risk of a stroke.
Hearing loss & mental health
People are social beings, and hearing enables them to communicate and interact with each other. Hearing loss makes communication difficult, especially since most of the people who can hear don’t know sign language or many alternative means of communication.
People experiencing hearing loss feel isolated because they cannot communicate well with other people. They feel left out, resulting in loneliness and other mental conditions such as stress and depression. What’s more, severe cases of hearing loss have also been associated with dementia when left untreated.
Hearing loss can be diagnosed if you consult an audiologist for a hearing test. A hearing test determines the type and severity of your hearing loss. It also reveals other details, including whether the condition is linked to hypertension and other conditions. Fortunately, this condition can be diagnosed and managed and your audiologist can recommend a solution that takes underlying conditions such as hypertension into account.
Peninsula Hearing performs thorough hearing tests in Port Townsend and Poulsbo, WA. Call us today at 360-697-3061 Poulsbo or 360-379-5458 Port Townsend to learn more about how we can help.