Research shows a person’s hearing health and cardiovascular health frequently correspond.
Cardiovascular disease includes coronary artery disease issues which can be caused by a number of factors. These include high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, high cholesterol and atherosclerosis. Researchers have found that narrow, clogged blood vessels which become unable to provide enough red blood cells to deliver oxygen and glucose can lead to cellular starvation (Friedland, Cederberg & Tarima, 2009).
The Better Hearing Institute (2013) reports a significant relationship between cardiovascular status and audiometric pattern. Inadequate blood flow can lead to blood vessel trauma of the inner ear which can contribute to a low frequency hearing loss. This is now thought of as a marker that may predict the potential development of cardiovascular disease. Audiogram pattern correlates strongly with cerebrovascular and peripheral arterial disease, and Friedland and his cohorts believe a hearing test may be a screening test for those at risk.
The American Journal of Audiology reports there is significant evidence that impaired cardiovascular health can negatively impact hearing and improved cardiovascular health may contribute to healthier adult ears.
Therefore, it is recommended that adults:
- Have hearing tested: Those with low frequency hearing loss should be regarded “at risk” for cardio or cerebrovascular events and appropriate referrals should be considered.
- Those with known cardio or cerebrovascular disorders should have their hearing tested regularly and consider hearing aids early in order to improve quality of life.
ReferencesBetter Hearing Institute. (2013). Heart disease and hearing loss linked press release
Friedland, D., Cederberg, C., & Tarima, S. (2009). Audiometric pattern as predictor of cardiovascular status: Development of a model for assessment of risk. Laryngoscope 119, 473-486
Hall, R. & Kerchen, S. (2010). The influence of cardiovascular health on peripheral and central auditory function in adults: A research review. American Academy of Audiology