Poor Heart Health May Lead To Hearing Loss

If you don’t watch what you eat and fail to exercise regularly, poor cardiovascular health is only one risk you’ll face. New evidence shows a link between poor heart health and hearing loss. The reason for this surprising correlation? The inner ear is extremely sensitive to blood flow, so obstructions in the arteries and veins – symptoms of impaired cardiovascular health – can impact the peripheral and central auditory systems, leading to hearing impairment. Conversely, when the heart is healthy and the flow of blood is unimpeded, hearing problems are fewer.

The cochlea, part of the inner ear that translates sound into nerve impulses, fails to function properly when damaged or subjected to decreased blood flow. A study of 1,600 patients with a history of cardiovascular disease showed they were 54% more likely to experience impaired cochlear function, further evidence of how essential blood flow is to good hearing.

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Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will not only add years to your lifespan, but will reduce your odds of developing hearing loss. Doctors recommend taking preventative measures such as eating healthier, losing weight, quitting smoking, and maintaining a healthy blood pressure. Individuals with hearing loss are encouraged to undergo cardiovascular screening to determine whether there is an increased health risk. And patients already diagnosed with heart disease should consider a hearing evaluation by an audiologist!

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Jody Vaynshtok

Jody is a California-licensed speech language pathologist with eight years of industry and clinical experience. She has worked with both adult and pediatric populations during her time at private practice, birth-to-three, and hospital facilities. She is experienced in the assessment and treatment of a variety of communication and cognitive disorders. In addition, Jody has a passion for working with adults looking to achieve clearer communication. Jody received her BS in Speech and Hearing Sciences and MS in Medical Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Washington. She was a part of the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford’s cleft and craniofacial clinic participating in the multidisciplinary assessment and treatment of children born with craniofacial abnormalities. She holds a staff position at UCSF and is the lead speech language pathologist for the department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery’s Hearing Loss Clinic. When she's not busy having fun with her clients Jody enjoys spending time with her husband, Anton, friends and family. And if she's not headed out somewhere fun for dinner, you might find her at Bar Method working out!