Could a hearing loss be trying to tell you something about your heart’s health? Listen carefully, because a growing body of evidence – based on six decades of research – points to a connection between hearing loss and cardiovascular disease.
In fact, several prominent experts call the ear a “window to the heart.”
“The inner ear is so sensitive to blood flow that it is possible any abnormalities in the cardiovascular system could be noted here earlier than in other less sensitive parts of the body,” explains David Friedland, MD, Ph.D., of the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Dr. Friedland has been studying the hearing-cardiovascular connection for years.
Conversely, a healthy cardiovascular system (heart, arteries and veins) may positively affect a person’s hearing.
Another study, involving nearly 5,000 Icelandic citizens, indicate that a hearing impairment and dual sensory impairment (involving both vision and hearing) in older men are associated with increased mortality from cardiovascular disease and other causes. Researchers also observed that men and women who used hearing aids had significantly lower mortality risk compared with hearing-impaired individuals who did not use hearing aids.
So in the spirit of February's American Heart Month, find out what your ears may be saying about your heart, take our hearing quiz now.