Is it really possible to listen with your heart? We hear with our ears and process speech and language in our brains, so what does the heart have to do with it?
Heart disease damages hearing. Hearing loss happens 54 percent more often in people with heart disease than in the general population. This is because the inner ear is extremely sensitive to blood flow. Inadequate blood flow and consequent trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear can contribute to hearing loss.
Researchers at Harvard University believe the hearing nerves are so fragile that the ears are likely the first organs damaged by cardiovascular disease.
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the United States. While this risk is widely known and many people – not all – take appropriate steps to deal with this threat, there is very little awareness of the growing body of research which indicates that an individual’s hearing health and cardiovascular health frequently correspond. Dealing fully with heart disease means a hearing check is also in order.
The Hearing Professionals are participating in American Heart Month by offering free hearing screenings
“It’s an opportunity to highlight the connection that heart health has on hearing health and to empower people with that knowledge. People with heart disease should not have to contend with the additional stress that untreated hearing loss takes on their quality of life,” explained Melissa Born, an Audiologist with The Hearing Professionals.
“We are raising awareness of the threat that heart disease poses and the connection between cardiovascular health and hearing health,” added Born.
A family history of early heart disease and age are two key risk factors for heart disease. Controllable risk factors include smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, overweight/obesity, physical inactivity and diabetes. Key elements for a healthy cardiovascular system – eating right and exercising – can have a positive effect on hearing as well. It is reassuring to note that establishing an appropriate plan to deal with both problems does not require a daily visit to the gym. One study saw a 32 percent reduction in risk for heart disease when exercising once a week.
If you are at risk for heart disease or have heart disease, get a free hearing check at The Hearing Professionals. Call (414) 332-3377 for an appointment.