08 Feb Hearing is important when it comes to matters of the heart.
Most of us take heart health very seriously, but when it comes to our hearing we often ignore early warning signs of changes to our auditory system. New studies are showing a link between heart and hearing health, noting that cardiovascular health impacts one’s ability to hear and understand in everyday listening situations.
Research completed by Raymond H. Hull, PhD, professor of communication sciences and disorders in audiology and neurosciences at Wichita State University, and Stacy R. Kerschen, AuD, combines analysis of 84 years of work from scientists worldwide, including 70 scientific studies, which confirm a direct link between cardiovascular health and hearing.
Remarkably, the findings suggest that hearing loss may be an early sign of cardiovascular disease. Dr.Hull explains, ““Our entire auditory system, especially the blood vessels of the inner ear, needs an oxygen-rich nutrient supply. If it doesn’t get it due to cardiovascular health problems, then hearing can be affected.”
Similar research conducted by David R. Friedland, MD, PhD, Professor and Vice-Chair of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences at the Medical College of Wisconsin, also suggests a heart-hearing link, noting hearing loss as an early warning sign of cardiovascular disease in seemingly healthy middle-aged (40+) people who have hearing loss.
His study notes that patients with low-frequency hearing loss should be regarded as at risk for cardiovascular events, and appropriate referrals should be considered. ““The inner ear is so sensitive to blood flow that it is possible that abnormalities in the cardiovascular system could be noted here earlier than in other less sensitive parts of the body.” Concluded Dr.Friedland.
Experts agree that the evidence is so compelling for this link that the ears are now being referred to as windows to the heart, and professional collaboration between audiologists, cardiologists and other health care providers is of paramount importance.
A hearing test is an important part of any health and wellness routine.
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Read the studies here: