Most people don’t equate a healthy heart with healthy ears.
However, researchers have found plenty of evidence showing that there is a direct connection between that blood-pumping organ in your chest with your ability to hear properly.
February is designated as American Heart Month, making it a perfect time of year to learn more about this perhaps surprising link and how you can improve your overall health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that heart disease kills more men and women in the United States than any other health condition, with 630,000 Americans dying from it annually.
Manatee Ear Center in Bradenton, Florida encourages the public to make steps to improve their cardiovascular and hearing health.
Blood flow is a key factor in the relationship between the heart and ears. If the heart isn’t pumping enough blood to all parts of the body, including the tiny hair cells of the inner ear, our hearing will suffer. These hair cells are particularly sensitive to blood flow and will begin to die off if they don’t receive the right amount of oxygen. Because these cells do not regenerate, permanent hearing loss will occur.
With this in mind, it’s important to note that any hearing loss could be attributed to heart disease. Making the following lifestyle changes could lower your risk of developing both cardiovascular and hearing problems:
- Exercise: Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity four or five times a week. Studies have shown that the more physically fit you are, the better your hearing. Being fit also translates to having low triglyceride levels – high triglyceride levels are often associated with hearing loss.
- Stop smoking: Doing away with tobacco reduces your risk of heart disease while promoting proper circulation to your ears.
- Proper nutrition: Avoid foods known to damage the heart, such as foods high in salt, saturated and trans fats. Choose healthier items including fruits, vegetables, skinless chicken, fish and whole grains.