Heart health and hearing: the connection you shouldn’t ignore
We all know it’s important to maintain good heart health. The heart beats roughly 2.5 billion times over the course of the average life, sending blood filled with oxygen and other essential elements throughout the body while whisking away the waste products of metabolism.1 It’s critical to keep it in tip-top shape so that it can do its job as efficiently as possible.
But what you might not know is that poor heart health can also impact your hearing.
That’s because there is a link between hypertension and hearing loss. The pressure your heart creates when it beats is what pushes blood throughout your body. When that pressure gets too high, it can damage your blood vessels – including the ones in your ears, causing hearing loss.
Signs of hearing loss
Of course, hypertension isn’t the only thing that could be impacting your hearing, particularly as you age. Excessive noise exposure, injury, viral infections such as measles or mumps, wax buildup, genetics, and ototoxic drugs (medications that can damage hearing) are all common causes of hearing loss.
But the possibility of hypertension is certainly something to consider, particularly if you haven’t had a recent check-up or if you have a personal or family history of elevated blood pressure and heart disease.
If you’re experiencing any of the following common signs of hearing loss, it’s time to book an appointment with your doctor and a hearing health professional to get it checked out:
- Difficulty following conversations, including phone conversations regardless of the noise level of the environment you’re in
- Trouble locating the source of sounds
- Turning up the TV louder than others in the room feel is necessary
- Experiencing ringing or buzzing in your ears
- Having to ask people to repeat themselves often because it sounds like they’re mumbling
How to keep your blood pressure in check
One of the most important things you can do for your heart – and your body – is to have your blood pressure monitored regularly. For most adults, a normal blood pressure reading is considered 120/80.
Hypertension is often called the silent killer because many people don’t even realize they have a problem until it’s too late, which is why consistent monitoring is so important, particularly if you do have elevated blood pressure.
But you can take even more action!
In addition to regular check-ups, adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle by incorporating these healthy habits into every day:
- Make sure to get regular physical exercise. Try to aim for 30 minutes a day, but talk to your doctor first before starting a new exercise program, particularly if you have any underlying health conditions.
- Eat healthy foods including lots of leafy green vegetables, whole grains, and healthy protein.
- Avoid processed foods (which are usually packed with sodium and added sugar).
- Quit smoking.
- Limit your alcohol intake.
- Lower your stress levels (try meditation, yoga, breathing exercises or other relaxation techniques, journaling, and even therapy if it helps).
- Take your blood pressure medications as prescribed.
Remember, hearing health is part of your overall health. If you suspect that you may have some hearing loss, love your ears enough to have them checked out. Start right now by taking advantage of a free comprehensive hearing assessment and a free, 30-day hearing aid trial at a HearingLife clinic near you.
HearingLife forms the largest network of hearing clinics with over 350 network clinics across Canada. Staffed by certified hearing healthcare professionals, HearingLife offers the most advanced hearing aid technology and up-to-date diagnostic equipment, as well as clinical support and exclusive 360-AfterCare. #LoveYourEars and visit HearingLife to book an appointment for your free trial today.