The Place for Better Hearing and the Better Hearing Institute (BHI) are raising awareness about the link between cardiovascular disease and hearing health in recognition of American Heart Month during February. New research out of the University of Wisconsin has reconfirmed the link between hearing and cardiovascular health, suggesting that hearing loss may be an early sign of cardiovascular disease. The study also showed that hearing loss is common in people in their forties. The Place for Better Hearing is offering free hearing screenings for adults during February 16 – 21.
This research is in line with the earlier findings of David R. Friedland, MD, PhD, Professor and Vice-Chair of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, who explains the cardiovascular-hearing health link:
“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.”
In Dr. Friedland’s own 2009 study, he and fellow researchers found that the hearing loss pattern correlates strongly with cerebrovascular and peripheral arterial disease and may represent a screening test for those at risk. They even concluded that patients with low-frequency hearing loss should be regarded as at risk for cardiovascular events, and appropriate referrals should be considered. Dr. Friedland says, “This study provides a potential mechanism by which blood flow to the ear may be compromised, namely atherosclerosis and plaque formation. It also shows that hearing loss in middle age is more common than many people realize.”
Research shows that hearing loss is linked to other chronic illnesses as well, including diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, moderate chronic kidney disease, and depression. And when left untreated, hearing loss adversely affects quality of life, earnings, and physical and emotional well-being.
Luckily, the overwhelming majority of people with hearing loss can benefit from hearing aids, which have advanced dramatically in recent years and are designed to help people keep up with youthful, active lifestyles. When people with even mild hearing loss use today’s modern hearing aids, they often improve their job performance; enhance their communication skills; increase their earnings potential; improve their professional and interpersonal relationships; stave off depression; gain an enhanced sense of control over their lives; and gain better quality of life.
Six Heart-Healthy Reasons to Get a Hearing Test:
- Six decades of research points to heart-hearing health link.
- The ear may be a window to the heart.
- The same lifestyle behaviors that affect the heart impact hearing.
- Addressing hearing loss improves quality of life, helps reduce stress.
- Today’s hearing aids are better than ever and can be virtually invisible.
- The Place for Better Hearing at 3302 Westbourne Drive is offering free hearing screenings for adults during February 16 – 21. Call (513) 922-0123 for an appointment.