How Heart Health Can Affect Your Hearing



A healthy heart is important for your overall health, including your hearing health. Heart disease has been linked to hearing loss. The major contributing factor for heart disease is high blood pressure, or hypertension. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that one in three adults in the United States has this condition.

High blood pressure usually does not cause any symptoms, so regularly checking your blood pressure is important to reduce your risk of developing heart disease and hearing loss.

Connection Between Hearing Loss and Heart Health

The link between hearing health and heart health is blood circulation. Your heart is responsible for pumping blood throughout your body, including your ears. However, with heart problems, such as high blood pressure or damaged blood vessels, your heart has to work harder to circulate the blood throughout your body. As a result, blood flow to certain parts of your body, including your ears, can be affected.

Can Heart Problem Cause Hearing Loss?

The delicate nerves and hair cells in your inner ear require proper blood circulation to pick up the sound you hear and then translate it into electrical impulses for the brain to interpret as noticeable sound. Without proper blood flow, these delicate hair cells and nerves become damaged and result in hearing loss.

Research confirmed that poor heart health or heart problems contribute to a higher risk of developing hearing loss.

Tips for Better Heart Health

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Nearly 647,000 people die every year due to heart disease. Therefore, improving your heart health is important not only for your hearing health, but your overall health.

Here are a few tips that you can follow to improve your heart health:

1. Exercise Regularly

Simple workouts like running, walking, swimming, cycling, and weight-lifting can strengthen your heart and help to decrease your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which results in improved heart health.

2. Healthy Breakfast

Make sure to include some fiber-rich fruits and a small serving of whole grains such as bran flakes, whole-wheat toast, or oatmeal in your breakfast. Dietary fiber in whole grains and fruits can reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

3. Take a Short Walk

Walking is the best exercise, because it reduces blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels, and it helps manage your weight. This will reduce the risk of a heart problem.

4. Don’t Drink Sugary Beverages

Sugary drinks can increase blood pressure, which contributes to heart problems. Even cutting back one sugary drink a day can decrease your blood pressure, keep your weight in check, and improve your heart health.

5. Eat Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables not only taste good, but they also improve your overall health. They contain many healthy nutrients like fiber, which helps lower your cholesterol level and blood pressure and improves blood vessel function. Try eating at least one extra vegetable or fruit a day.

6. Breathing Exercise

Breathing exercises such as deep breathing makes your lungs more efficient, which brings more oxygen to the blood, reducing the work your heart has to do to circulate oxygenated blood to the rest of your body. Breathe slowly and deeply for a few minutes every day to reduce stress and blood pressure.

7. Have a Handful of Nuts

Including nuts such as peanuts, walnuts, and almonds as your snack instead of chips, cookies, and fries, will reduce cholesterol levels and improve heart health.

8. Stay Away from Germs

Wash your hands with soap and water or a hand sanitizer to prevent the spread of bacterial infection and germs, as they can affect the blood vessels in the heart and cause heart problems.

9. Consume Seafood

Eating fish twice a week helps in improving your heart health. Research shows omega-3 fatty acids from seafood decrease the risk of abnormal heart rhythms, slow the growth of fatty deposits, and decrease triglyceride levels.

Hearing loss can be a sign of existing or developing heart problems. If you suspect that you have hearing loss, schedule an appointment with Dr. Chris Hoffmann to get your hearing checked.


image

Chris Lin Hoffmann

Dr. Chris Hoffmann is an audiologist who has been involved in hearing sciences for over 20 years. Her passion for helping people with their hearing led her to establish Hoffmann Audiology hearing clinic. Dr. Hoffmann has more than 14 years of clinical knowledge in hearing testing, hearing aid fittings, and aural rehabilitation.