The Ear is the Window to the Heart
Learn what your hearing can tell us about your heart health!
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States today. According to the CDC, one person dies every 36 seconds from cardiovascular disease. The term “heart disease” can refer to many different heart conditions, but the most common is coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease is caused by plaque build-up on our arteries. This build-up results in a decrease in blood flow, which could eventually lead to a heart attack. Heart disease is often prevented through lifestyle modifications such as quitting smoking, lowering cholesterol, controlling high blood pressure, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising.
But what does this have to do with your hearing?
The tiny blood vessels in your hearing organ, known as the cochlea, is often one of the first places to be affected by a decrease in blood flow. This reduction of blood flow in the cochlea causes hearing loss. In this way, your hearing health does act as a window to your heart health. Multiple studies now show a strong association between poor cardiovascular health and hearing loss. Because it is one of the first places affected by poor circulation, your hearing may actually be one of the first indications of heart disease!
Hearing loss that is linked to heart disease has a specific configuration that can be identified during a hearing test. If you suspect poor cardiovascular health, it is important to talk to your doctor and consider a hearing test to screen for this early marker of heart disease. Additionally, it is important to have your hearing tested if you have a heart condition, or if you have a family history of heart disease.
Early identification is key, for both your hearing and heart health!
GET YOUR HEARING CHECKED ASAP!
Call us at (312) 260-5037 to discuss further or click here to make an appointment.
Dr. Katrina Lapham, Au.D.