Need another reason to stay active and eat healthy? Recent studies have shown a link between cardiovascular health and hearing. Our ears are susceptible to changes in our vascular system, due to the blood flow required by the ear to function properly. Therefore, poor cardiovascular health could potentially cause damage to your hearing.
A study published in the American Journal of Medicine revealed that high body mass and waist circumference may lead to an increased risk for hearing loss in women. This same study also suggested increased physical activity may decrease the risk for hearing loss. Another study, published in the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, showed that women with a history of heart attacks were found to be twice as likely to have permanent damage to their hearing as women without a significant history of heart attack. In turn, hearing loss could also be used as a predictor of cardiovascular health. A pattern of low-frequency hearing loss has been associated with cardiovascular disease, and researchers suggest that the hearing test may prove to be a useful screening tool in determining which individuals are at-risk.
So what does all of this mean exactly? Exercising and eating right may benefit more than just your heart! The abundance of research demonstrating a correlation between hearing and cardiovascular health also shows the importance of including hearing evaluations as part of your routine medical care. If you have risk factors or a history of cardiovascular disease and hearing loss, speak to your doctor about the best course of action for you. Never had a hearing test before? Call 505-982-4848 to schedule a medical and audiological evaluation with one of our board-certified ENT physicians.
–Danielle Morgan, Au.D.