Hearing loss links to other health issues

The Link Between Hearing Loss, Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes 

A healthy heart not only helps you live longer but can help you hear longer too. Did you know that hearing loss is directly linked to your overall health, especially your cardiovascular health? 

Research has recently proved that hearing loss is linked to cardiovascular disease and diabetes. 

Here’s what you need to know… 

The link between the heart and ears 

New research reveals that a healthy heart is the key to healthy hearing. The inner ear is sensitive to changes in blood flow and compromised cardiovascular health can harm the peripheral and central auditory systems. Inadequate blood flow and trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear can cause hearing loss. 

On the flipside, a healthy cardiovascular system can have a positive impact on hearing. 

Diabetes and hearing loss 

Hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes compared to those who do not have diabetes. This is because hearing depends on small blood vessels and nerves in the inner ear. Researchers believe that over time, high blood glucose levels can damage these vessels and nerves, diminishing the ability to hear. 

Other stats: 

  • • Women with a history of heart attack are 2.7 times more likely to have impaired cochlear function 
  • • Higher BMI and larger waist circumference in women is associated with an increased risk of hearing loss, and higher physical activity is associated with reduced risk of hearing loss in women 
  • • An individual’s risk of hearing loss increases by 15.1% if he or she is a persistent smoker 

The best method of treatment for all disease, including heart disease, diabetes and hearing loss is prevention. All adults over the age of 55 years should be referred for a baseline diagnostic audiological evaluation.