National Heart Month: Are Your Ears & Cardio Health Connected?
Take a Closer Look With These 5 Facts
What do hearing and your heart have in common? They both help you experience the world in your own unique way. And with National Heart Month celebrated in February, it’s a great time to talk about the importance of taking care of cardiovascular and ear health. They’re even more connected than you might think!
Check out these five facts:
1. Global Issue
Like hearing loss, which affects more than 1.5 billion children and adults, per the World Health Organization, cardiovascular disease — including heart disease and stroke — is a global challenge affecting people of all walks of life. It’s the No. 1 killer worldwide, with nearly 18 million deaths annually, according to public-health estimates.
2. Higher Risk
A study reviewing national health surveys found that the majority of older adult respondents who had heart failure were also experiencing hearing loss, per a Harvard news report on the investigation. A separate study discovered that a history of heart attack could mean at least a two-fold chance of hearing loss for women.
3. Increased Mortality
Hearing loss alone is linked to a respective 13% and 28% increase in the odds of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. When hearing loss is paired with vision loss, the increase jumps to 40% and 80%, respectively. The reasons aren’t fully known, but ties between hearing loss and other conditions that contribute to physical frailty — cognitive decline, for example — are suspected factors.
4. Mitigating Factor
Both hypertension — a major contributor to development of heart disease — and hearing loss may play a significant role in curbing dementia globally. The UK-based Lancet Commission identified hypertension and hearing loss among 12 potentially modifiable risk factors that, when addressed, could prevent or delay 40% of dementia cases worldwide.
5. Blood Flow
Exactly how heart issues and hearing loss are connected isn’t yet conclusive in all cases. Cardiovascular disease, however, can cause decreased hearing sensitivity by actually restricting blood flow to the structures of the inner ear. These structures require blood flow for nourishment.
As you can see, taking care of both your heart and your hearing supports overall health in more ways than one. Some risk factors such as age and family history can’t be helped, but healthy choices such as avoiding tobacco, choosing a nutritious diet, taking up physical activities, and scheduling regular health checkups can make a difference in helping prevent either condition.
If you have or suspect heart-health issues, see your cardiologist and make sure professional hearing help is also part of your wellness plan. Our knowledgeable team can evaluate any hearing problems and provide solutions that help keep you healthy and connected to what you love. Contact us today!