February is American Heart Month, and we'd like to take a moment to discuss the link between cardiovascular health and hearing health. As it turns out, our ears may actually be listening to our hearts.
Research suggests hearing loss may be an early sign of cardiovascular disease, especially in seemingly healthy middle-aged people. An analysis of 84 years of work from scientists worldwide confirmed a direct link between cardiovascular health and the ability to hear. This occurs because our auditory system is dependent on an oxygen-rich blood flow, which can be restricted if cardiovascular health issues are present.
David R. Friedland, MD, PhD, Professor and Vice-Chair of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, suggests that patients with low-frequency hearing loss, particularly those who are middle-aged, should seek appropriate cardiology referrals. He states, “The inner ear is so sensitive to blood flow that it is possible that abnormalities in the cardiovascular system could be noted here earlier than in other less sensitive parts of the body.”
The link between hearing health and cardiovascular health is strong. As we know, hearing loss is often accompanied by other health conditions, so this particular link is no surprise. Are ears the windows to our overall health? What do you think?
The full article referenced above can be found on the Better Hearing Institute's website by clicking here.
For more information about American Heart Month and cardiovascular health, visit the American Heart Association's website.
If you or someone you know are concerned about your hearing, feel free to contact us or take our hearing questionnaire.