Kevin T. Barlow, Au.D.
You’re probably familiar with hearing protection for activities like football games, hunting, or even mowing the lawn. But there’s another method of protecting your hearing that might surprise you — maintaining your heart health.
How are they connected?
Simply put, the better your blood flow, the better your hearing. Let’s look at why.
The hair cell
Your inner ear has hundreds of tiny, hair-like structurescalled hair cells. They capture sound, translate it into nerve signals, and send them on to the part of your brain that interprets sound. These cells thrive onoxygen from the tiny blood vessels that run through your inner ear.
But anunhealthy heart has trouble getting blood to your inner ear. Without enough oxygen,your hair cellsbegin to breakdown. Fewer working hair cells means less sound information reaches your brain. The result? Hearing loss.
The connection is strong. It’s now recommended that heart attack patients geta hearing test ASAP to catch any hearing loss early. And in an article in The Hearing Journal, Dr. Raymond Hull has urged that every hearing care patient’s history include detailed information about heart health.
Keeping your heart healthy
Simple ways to improve heart health abound. Here are just a few easy things you can do to make your heart happy.
Get up, stand up
Sitting down all day is unhealthy. In fact, sitting for long periods has been linked to heart disease. Simply stand up occasionally — it does more than you realize. It isn’tabout getting enough exercise:According to Dr. Erin Michos, associate director of preventive cardiology at Johns Hopkins, “Even if you’re doing 30 minutes per day of physical activity, it matters what you do the other 23 hours of the day.” Dr. Michos finds opportunities every hour to get up and move. For example, asking a colleague a question in person rather than by email.
A rainbow at every meal
To lower your risk of heart disease, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada recommends 7 to 10 servings of vegetables and fruit every day. Most are low in calories, fat, and sodium, and many are rich in vitamin C or beta-carotene, which combat plaque buildup in your arteries.
Embrace healthy fats
Cutting out all fat is not the way to go. Your body needscertain fats. Per the American Heart Association, limit saturated fats, load up on unsaturated fats, and eliminate artificial trans fats, hydrogenated oils, and tropical oils.What does this look like in practice?Add fish and avocado to your diet, eat nuts in moderation, and switch out your go-to oilsfor those low in saturated fat, such as olive orsesame oils.
The body’s different systems are connected in surprising ways, and researchers are constantly finding new ways that overall health affects hearing health. If you or someone you love is a heart patient, call us today to schedule a hearing evaluation!
CALL TODAY to schedule your appointment 863.594.1976
Winter Haven Audiology
510 1st St S | Winter Haven
704 SR 60 E | Lake Wales
Hull RH. Why Cardiovascular Health Should Be Added to the Hearing Case History. The Hearing Journal. 2014;67(5):22,24,26.
John Hopkins Medicine. Sitting Disease:
How a Sedentary Lifestyle Affects Heart Health. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy_heart/move_more/sitting-disease–how-a-sedentary-lifestyle-affects-heart-health. Accessed Sept. 5, 2019.
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.
Vegetables and Fruit.
https://www.heartandstroke.ca/get-healthy/healthy-eating/vegetables-and-fruit. Accessed Sept. 5, 2019. American Heart Association. Fats.
https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/fats. Accessed Sept. 5, 2019.