The Ear Bone’s Connected to the…?

hearing and heart health

By Elizabeth Brassine, Au.D.

Do you remember the song called “Dem Bones” from childhood? We often think of the ear as being unrelated to the rest of the body; however, the Better Hearing Institute suggests your heart and hearing may have more in common than you realize, which is why they are raising awareness about the link between hearing loss and cardiovascular disease. A growing body of research shows that a person’s hearing health and cardiovascular health frequently correspond.

Studies show 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. 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 parts of the body. The study also found that a pattern of hearing loss correlates strongly with cerebrovascular and peripheral arterial disease and may serve as an initial screening test for those at risk.

Five Heart-Healthy Reasons to Get a Hearing Test

  1. Six decades of research points to heart-hearing health link. A comparative review of more than 60 years of research found a correlation between cardiovascular and hearing health.
  1. The ear may be a window to the heart. Some experts find that evidence that shows a link between cardiovascular and hearing health is so compelling that they consider the ear to be a window to the heart. They encourage collaboration between hearing care providers and cardiologists.
  2. The same lifestyle behaviors that affect the heart impact hearing. One study found that increased physical activity is associated with a lower risk of hearing loss in women. A second study revealed that smokers and passive smokers are more likely to suffer hearing loss; and a third study found that regular fish consumption and an increased intake of omega-3 are associated with a lower risk of hearing loss for women.
  3. Addressing hearing loss improves quality of life. 8 out of 10 hearing aid users say they are satisfied with the changes that have occurred in their lives due to their hearing aids. Many say that they see improvements in their overall quality of life and interpersonal relationships, and that they experience reduced anger and frustration, and enhanced emotional stability.
  4. Today’s hearing aids are better than ever and virtually invisible. State-of-the-art, sleek, and virtually invisible… today’s hearing aids combine technology and style with durability and ease-of-use. They’re a high-tech tool to help people stay socially, physically, and cognitively active. With such a wide array of options, there’s an attractive solution for just about anyone.

Elizabeth Brassine is a Doctor of Audiology and the owner of Hearing Services of McKinney.