Hearing Health & Heart Health…. It’s a Two Way Street

By Dr. Noël Crosby, Au.D.

Hearing Health & Heart HealthValentines Day and the month of February have always been linked to the heart.   There is now a growing body of research and evidence that suggests that hearing loss and cardiovascular ailments are also linked.  This is why everyone should think of their ears as a window to their heart.  If you are experiencing hearing loss, pay attention to your entire health. The more we learn about hearing loss, the more we discover that it very often co-exists with other health conditions. You should pay attention to your entire wellbeing.  Hearing loss is not a self-contained impairment limited just to your ears.

Many different studies conducted here in the USA and overseas have demonstrated that quite a few serious ailments can impact how well we hear. These studies have shown that all the bodily organs and functions are tightly interconnected. When one system or organ fails, it sends rippling effects through the others. Your hearing is not immune to this process. There has been a sizable body of research conducted over more than six decades that collected information about cardiovascular disease and hearing.  The authors of a study published in the American Journal of Audiology using the information from this research have concluded that there is a negative influence of impaired cardiovascular health on both the peripheral and central auditory system.  There is also the potential positive influence of improved cardiovascular health on these same peripheral and central auditory systems.

New research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital also reveals that a healthy heart may be the key to keeping your hearing healthy. In the study, researchers also found correlations between certain audiometric patterns and arterial disease. One pattern, a reverse slope, which identifies low frequency hearing loss, may suggest the presence of cardiovascular disease.  Some researchers hypothesize that because the inner ear is so sensitive to blood flow, any abnormalities in the condition of blood vessels in the inner ear could be noticed earlier than in other, less sensitive parts of the body. In one study—presented by David R. Friedland, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Madison at the 2009

Combined Otolaryngology Spring Meeting—it was hypothesized that low-frequency hearing loss may be a potential marker for predicting the presence of, or potential development of cardiovascular disease. These studies could prompt hearing professionals to consider making a referral to assess cardiovascular health after low frequency hearing loss has been identified.

According to a study in older adults, the prevalence of suffering from various degrees of hearing loss is 54 percent greater among those who have a history of heart disease than in the general population. The study also indicated that those individuals who exercise at least once a week saw a 32 percent reduction in the risk of suffering from hearing loss, when compared to sedentary people. (Source: “The Association Between Cardiovascular Disease and Cochlear Function in Older Adults.” Population Health Program Faculty, Wisconsin University, First Annual Population Health Poster Session selected abstracts 2001-2002.)

It’s a good idea for those people with cardiovascular disease to get their hearing checked, and for those people with hearing loss to pay close attention to their cardiovascular health.  The inner ear is extremely sensitive to blood flow.  All these studies have shown that a healthy cardiovascular system—a person’s heart, arteries, and veins—has a positive effect on hearing. Conversely, inadequate blood flow and trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear can contribute to hearing loss.

To help promote hearing health care we will be offering for a limited time a FREE hearing screening. Time slots are limited so please call today to make your appointment 941-474-8393

Hearing Health Care EXPO…..
Save the Date:
Thursday February 11th 2016
11:00am – 3:00pm
Englewood Chamber of Commerce,
located at 601 South Indiana Ave.

Dr. Noël Crosby, Au.D., owner and audiologist at Advanced Hearing Solutions in Englewood, FL is a licensed professional whose 26 year career has been devoted to helping people of all ages hear and understand more clearly.  Dr. Crosby received her BS and MS degrees from FSU and her Doctorate in Audiology from UF.  Her credibility as an authority grew during her tenure as the Director of Audiology at the Silverstein Institute in Sarasota, FL from 1991-1998. Today, in addition to managing a successful audiology practice, Dr. Crosby is involved in creating hearing loss awareness through her jewelry and accessory company AuDBling.com. She has served and is serving on various professional boards and committees and was president of the Florida Academy of Audiology in 2000 and 2010.  She has been married to Michael for 23 years and has one daughter.


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