A study conducted by Harvard University found an overwhelming relation between heart disease and hearing loss. “Hearing loss has occurred 54% more often in people with heart disease than in the general population.” Heart disease can be caused by problems with blood flow and blood vessels. It often results from plaque build-up on the arteries (atherosclerosis) which makes it difficult for blood to flow through the veins, arteries, vessels and bodily organs – especially the inner ear.
Hearing loss is not only the consequence of ineadequate blood flow to the auditory system. Recent research (Hull RH, Kerschen SR, The influence of cardiovascular health on peripheral and central auditory function in adults: a research review. AmerJournAud 2010;19(1):9-6. shows corresponding damage to the brainstem and auditory pathways resulting in difficulties processing, decoding and understanding speech.
The inner ear is extremely sensitive to blood flow. Inadequate blood flow and blood vessel trauma damages the nerves of the inner ear. Hearing loss could be an early, in fact the first, warning sign of an impending heart attack or stroke.
The nerves of the inner ear are so sensitive and fragile that Harvard researchers concluded the ear might be the first organ to feel the effects of cardiovascular disease. They stated that if blow flow is inadequate. The nerves of the inner ear are so sensitive that hearing loss can be an early warning sign of impending cardiovascular disease.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Get a baseline hearing test now. If you are receiving treatment for cardiovascular disease, monitor your hearing regularly for any changes.
Dr. Ronna Fisher, Au.D.
Founder & President
Hearing Health Center, Inc.