As we age, most of us will experience some form of hearing loss. But if you struggle with high blood pressure and are noticing shifts in your hearing, or if you have a sudden change in your hearing, it might be a sign that you need to take a look at your heart health.
High Blood Pressure and Hypertension
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is an increase in the measured force of blood against your blood vessel walls. When you have hypertension, your heart is pumping blood through your arteries at a high pressure, causing damage to the smooth lining of the blood vessel walls. Where the damage occurs, fatty plaque (made up of fat and cholesterol) can build up to form a bump. As more plaque accumulates, the bump grows larger and can eventually stop blood flow.
While the exact cause for hypertension is unknown, several factors increase the risk, including:
- High salt intake
- Alcohol consumption
Hypertension and Hearing Loss
When you have high blood pressure, your blood vessels are damaged all over the body, including the vessels that carry blood to the ears. Studies have shown that people with an increase in blood pressure have a higher rate of hearing loss, and if the pressure stays high for a long period of time, it can permanently damage hearing organs.
Luckily, if steps are taken to lower blood pressure, hearing may return to normal. Because hypertension is an underlying cause of hearing loss, it’s important to focus on lowering your high blood pressure, as well as trying to address hearing loss concerns.
Sudden Changes in Hearing
A research study done by The American Heart Association found a direct correlation between sudden change in hearing and blood pressure. While the specifics are still being discovered, researchers noticed that if a person experiences a sudden change of hearing, they are 150% more likely to experience a stroke within the next two years.
About half of the cases of sudden hearing loss result in recovery, but if you or a loved one has experienced sudden hearing loss, it is important to monitor your health and look for signs of stroke after the event.
Improving Your Hearing Health
Hearing loss can lead to feelings of isolation, loneliness, and depression, so if you have high blood pressure, it can be important to have your hearing evaluated on a yearly basis to detect any hearing loss before it’s too late. The audiologists at Sonora Hearing Care, LLC, are experts in taking care of your hearing needs, offering hearing tests and consultations where they take the time to discuss your concerns. They will also provide advice on how to keep improving your hearing health, such as:
- Lowering the volume on personal listening devices
- Wearing over-the-counter hearing protection like earplugs or earmuffs
- Offering customized hearing protection options that are functional, durable, and professionally made
If you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our audiologists, contact us today to see how we can help you better hear the world around you and improve your daily life.