Posted on: January 30, 2013

February is heart health month. According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, heart disease is one of the top three leading causes of death in Canada. It is also the leading cause of hospitalization in Canada.

Many studies over the past several years have found a link between heart disease and hearing loss. For example a Harvard study found that people who have cardiovascular disease (CVD) are 54% more likely to suffer from hearing loss. Of people who have had at least one heart attack, 80% were found to have damage to the inner ear.

It is thought that CVD contributes to hearing loss by reducing blood flow to the inner ear. Heart disease can reduce flow of blood through your veins, arteries and organs including your inner ear. On top of that the cells of the inner ear are among the most fragile in your body so the inner ear could be the first organ affected by heart disease.This has led some researchers to believe that hearing loss could be an early sign of heart disease in some people, especially if there is a family history of heart problems.Because the inner ear is so susceptible to damage from heart disease it is recommended that people with CVD have their hearing screened on a regular basis.

Living a lifestyle that reduces your risk of heart disease can also be beneficial to your hearing. Some things you can do to reduce your risk include:
• Having your blood pressure checked on a regular basis.
• Decreasing salt intake as it impairs circulation.
• Exercising regularly. One study found that exercising at least once a week decreased the risk of suffering from hearing
loss by 32% compared to sedentary people.
• Getting proper rest and avoiding fatigue and stress.

To summarize, there is a strong correlation between heart disease and hearing loss. Heart disease can have an impact on hearing by reducing blood flow to the very fragile cells of the inner ear. For this reason it is important to have your hearing screened if you have a history of heart disease. In most cases hearing loss related to heart disease can be treated with hearing aids. Improving your hearing can improve your quality of life and reduce stress. Reduced stress is good for your heart.

If you have a history of heart disease please contact Accurate Hearing to book a complimentary hearing screening during the month of February.

For Halifax call 423-7734
For Sackville call 252-3004