Heart Diseases and Hearing Loss: Correlations and Prevention

Last update on Oct, 18, 2021

Did you know that a healthy heart can be the key to good hearing? According to recent studies, there is in fact a connection between heart disease and hearing loss, such that heart patients are considered categories at risk of hearing loss. In this article we will try to explain the reasons for this particular relationship between the two diseases and how to prevent the onset of both problems.

Link between hearing loss and heart disease

Keeping your heart, veins and arteries healthy can help you have better hearing. Our hearing systems are sensitive to changes in blood circulation. Impairment of the cardiovascular system can damage the peripheral and central auditory systems. In short, inadequate blood circulation can damage your hearing.

The researchers also found a correlation between certain audiometric configurations and arterial disorders. Loss of low frequency perception, identified by a configuration called reverse tilt, may suggest the presence of cardiovascular disease. If, following an audiometric examination, this problem arises, the practitioner may request an evaluation of cardiovascular health.

There are various risk factors for heart disease, which can increase the risk of hearing loss, for example:

  • Age: The older you are, the higher the risk.
  • Gender: Men are at a greater risk than women. Women’s risk increases after menopause
  • family history of heart disease
  • Smoking
  • Poor diet
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol levels
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Excess stress

So let's see how to keep the heart healthy to also preserve hearing.

What is pulsatile tinnitus?

The demonstration that heart and hearing are strongly correlated is provided by the existence of a particular type of tinnitus, called pulsatile tinnitus. Unlike the other noises typical of this pathology, this type of tinnitus consists in the objective perception of hearing the heartbeat in the ears. This hearing disorder is caused by an alteration of the blood flow, which determines the actual sensation of the flow of blood in the blood vessels, such as to be perceived inside the ear. Other possible causes are:

  • noise pollution,
  • listening to music with earphones,
  • the intake of particular drugs,
  • head trauma.

In most cases it is a transient and non-pathological disease, however, should it become chronic, it is advisable to book an appointment with a specialist to identify the actual causes. Since this is an objective tinnitus, it is in fact quite simple to recognize it, through an audiometric examination, assisted if necessary by a CT scan or an MRI.

Treatment depends on the triggering cause: if pulsating tinnitus depends on a cardiovascular disease, it is necessary to intervene to correct that. Sometimes, however, psychological support may be needed to overcome the states of anxiety and fear resulting from continually listening to a pulsating noise in the ears.

How to avoid heart disease and hearing problems

An active lifestyle can improve cardiovascular health and increase blood circulation to the ears. According to the study in the American Journal of Medicine, regular physical activity can really decrease the risk of hearing loss. The American Heart Association also recommends following a healthy diet and maintaining blood pressure at an adequate level.

It is important to keep your heart and hearing healthy and have them checked during routine medical exams. Individuals at risk of developing heart disease and those who have already been diagnosed need to pay particular attention to their hearing.

Other questions? Come and visit us in an Amplifon centre

Book an appointment and come and visit us at one of our Amplifon centres, our hearing care professionals will be ready to answer any of your curiosities about the world of hearing and to show you our range of Amplifon hearing aids.

Book an appointment

News & Blog

Catch up on the latest news and stories on hearing health.
Learn more

Get support and advice

Book a free hearing test

Book now

Test your hearing online

Take the test

Find your nearest store

Find a store