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Nearly 600,000 people die of heart disease every year making it the deadliest disease in the United States. February is American Heart Month. We’d like to raise awareness of the close connection between your heart health and hearing.

The Connection

Your inner ear is extremely sensitive to blood flow, which is regulated by your cardiovascular system. This means a healthy heart helps maintain healthy ears.

Unlike other body parts, your inner ear is only supplied blood by a single small artery. If that artery becomes blocked there is no alternative. The delicate parts of your auditory system have no way to get the oxygen and nutrients they need. When the blood supply decreases or is stopped irreversible damage is done to the inner ear.

The Research

A University of Wisconsin study of older adults found that the chances of suffering from hearing loss are 54% greater among people with a history of heart disease. We urge anyone with heart disease to have his or her hearing checked yearly. This way you can monitor how your heart is affecting your hearing.

Not only does impaired heart health have a negative impact on your hearing, but poor hearing health has also become a predictor of developing heart issues. A study published in The Laryngoscope suggests that low-frequency hearing loss is a marker for predicting the development of heart health issues. Researchers hypothesize that because the inner ear is more sensitive to blood flow abnormalities may be detected earlier by monitoring hearing. Again, making it beneficial to adults to have their hearing tested on a yearly basis, just like they see their doctor for an annual physical.

Unfortunately hearing health is frequently an after thought, something people aren’t concerned with until it is too late. We know maintaining good cardiovascular health is good for your overall health. This research shows it’s also crucial to protecting your hearing function. We hope you’ll share this information with friends and family in order to live long, happy and healthy lives.