LEXINGTON Did you know that hearing loss can be connected to heart disease? This is due to a connection between heart disease and reduced blood flow to the inner ear. Paula Evans, Au.D, an audiologist with Bluegrass Hearing Clinic states, “Over my thirty-five years of being a hearing healthcare provider, I have seen first-hand how heart disease can contribute to decreased hearing abilities.”
The inner ear is extremely sensitive to blood flow. Studies have shown that a healthy cardiovascular system has a positive effect on hearing. Conversely, inadequate blood flow and trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear can contribute to hearing loss.
While you are already monitoring your blood pressure and cholesterol levels to protect yourself against heart disease, there is one more risk factor you need to consider — your hearing.
Research has shown that the ears are the “window to the heart.” Audiogram patterns correlate with signs of heart issues by showing decreased blood flow to the cochlea.
As sounds travel through the cochlea, they are converted into neural signals for your brain to process and understand. Over time, disruptions to that process can contribute to a variety of physical, emotional, and mental health concerns. Because hearing loss can occur gradually, the best way to monitor hearing health is to receive an annual hearing evaluation by an audiologist.
Older adults are at an increased risk of both heart disease and hearing loss and can especially benefit from taking steps to improve their health in both arenas. In addition to annual screenings, maintaining a well-balanced diet and engaging in regular exercise can support healthy blood flow throughout the body, including the cochlea.
Watching your blood pressure, not smoking, and scheduling your annual physical and hearing exam, can help protect your heart and ensure your happiness for years to come.
Founded by Dr. Deanna Frazier in 1997, Bluegrass Hearing Clinic’s mission is “To prevent, protect, and promote better earing.” With 11 locations throughout Kentucky, Bluegrass Hearing Clinic provides hearing solutions with state-of-the-art hearing technology in assistive listening devices; noise protection; swimming and custom wireless earbuds; and a range of other device accessories that prevent hearing loss and protect and promote better hearing. With the belief that better hearing is better living, Bluegrass Hearing Clinic is “Where Better Hearing Begins.”