Image of Doctor drawing ecg heartbeat chart for heart health month.Did you know that the health of your heart can play a significant role in the quality of your hearing?

The connection between the heart and hearing has been well documented. February’s designation as American Heart Month makes it a perfect time to learn more about this link and how you can strengthen both your heart and hearing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, with one in four deaths attributed to it. Audiology & Hearing Services of Charlotte wants to remind you about how having a healthy heart can impact your hearing.

What does the heart have to do with your ears?

The connection comes down to the circulation of blood in the body. The tiny hair cells of the cochlea (inner ear) are particularly sensitive to blood flow, requiring adequate amounts of oxygen-rich blood to work properly.

Heart disease can limit the amount of blood reaching these hair cells, damaging them and hurting their ability to aid the hearing process. These fragile cells, once destroyed, do not regenerate themselves – this results in permanent hearing loss, particularly at low-frequency sound levels.

Studies Find Heart-Hearing Link

One study found that factors such as smoking, obesity, peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and a history of cardiovascular issues were heavily associated with hearing loss at both high and low frequencies.

Another small study from researchers at Miami University in Ohio found that subjects who were more fit typically scored better on hearing tests, especially in people older than 50 years old.

In addition to exercising more to improve your heart health, other lifestyle changes that can positively impact the heart and hearing include:

  • Better nutrition: Eat a heart-healthy diet to reduce your risk of both heart disease and hearing loss. Replace foods high in saturated and trans fats and sodium with whole grains, fruits, vegetables and
  • Stop smoking: Smoking is obviously bad for your heart and, consequently, your ears. Kick the habit to reduce your risk of developing heart disease.

For more information about services at Audiology & Hearing Aid Solutions of Charlotte or to schedule an appointment, call us at 704-412-7975 or contact us online.

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