Hearing Loss and Cardiovascular Health

Nov 3, 2009 by

For many decades, the relationship between hearing loss and cardiovascular disease has been investigated.  Doctors have known about the risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease and hearing loss.  Specifically, aspects of cardiovascular disease, such as coronary heart disease, stroke, intermittent claudication, hypertension and blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, and open heart surgery have been associated with hearing loss.

Both males and females, especially adults, have a higher risk of being diagnosed with low frequency hearing loss if they have cardiovascular disease or risk factors such as strokes or TIA’s.

In regards to blood pressure and hearing loss, correlations have been found between low and mid-frequency hearing loss and high systolic blood pressure and high diastolic blood pressure in women.  Arterial hypotension, evidenced through low systolic blood pressure has been associated with high-frequency hearing loss in men.  High blood pressure, as well as insulin-dependent diabetes, has been shown to have an effect on high frequency hearing sensitivity.  In some cases, hypertension has been associated with sudden deafness.  Correlations have been noted between LDL cholesterol levels and hearing loss.

A significant decrease in high frequency hearing sensitivity has been identified in patients following open heart surgery using cardiopulmonary bypass.  Factors such as hypertension, high cholesterol levels, history of myocardial infarctions, and cross-clamp time have significantly influenced hearing sensitivity following cardiac surgery.

Since cardiovascular disease has been linked to hearing loss, it is important to consistently monitor your hearing levels if you are at risk.  The hearing loss experts and audiologists at Hear Florida also believe it’s important to report any changes in your hearing to your cardiologist or primary care physician, as it may be a sign of systemic changes in cardiovascular health.

If you currently suffer from cardiovascular disease and have concerns about your hearing, we recommend you contact a hearing specialist to have your hearing checked.  With Hearing Care Centers throughout South Florida, Hear Florida is a great resource for anyone concerned about hearing loss and cardiovascular health.

Written by Dr. Brandy Pouliot, Au.D.