—Your heart and hearing may have more in common than you realize says the Better Hearing Institute (BHI),(www.BetterHearing.org) which is raising awareness of the link between hearing loss and cardiovascular disease for World Heart Day, September 29. A growing body of research shows that a person’s hearing health and cardiovascular health frequently correspond. So BHI is encouraging people to take a free, confidential, online hearing check at www.BetterHearing.org to help determine if they need a comprehensive hearing test by a hearing healthcare professional.
Studies show that a healthy cardiovascular system—a person’s heart, arteries, and veins—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.
David R. Friedland, MD, PhD, Professor and Vice-Chair of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, has been studying the relationship between cardiovascular and hearing health for years.
He says, “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.”
Dr. Friedland and fellow researchers found that audiogram pattern correlates strongly with cerebrovascular and peripheral arterial disease and may represent a screening test for those at risk. In their study, they concluded that patients with low-frequency hearing loss should be regarded as at risk for cardiovascular events, and appropriate referrals should be considered.