As we age, it’s more important than ever to look after our general health. Did you know that 75 million American adults (roughly 1 in 3) have hypertension (high blood pressure)? This increases their risk of stroke and heart disease. Coincidentally, it’s also 1-3 American adults aged 65-74 who have a hearing loss. Today, we’re looking at how hypertension can affect your hearing, and the connection between the two conditions.
How Can Hypertension Affect Your Hearing?
The delicate cells within our auditory system require a constant supply of well oxygenated blood to maintain healthy hearing. Without it, damage can occur.
For example, the fragile hair cells of the inner ear are essential for converting sounds into electrical signals ready for the brain to interpret. If they die due to a lack of blood flow, function is interrupted and the brain receives less information. You now experience a sensorineural hearing loss.
Therefore health conditions such as hypertension may lead to a hearing loss, because they impact circulation. High blood pressure in particular is also known to be a cause of pulsatile tinnitus which is a very difficult condition to live with.
The Connection Between Hypertension And Your Hearing
“Hypertension is a trigger for several kinds of diseases” states Dr. Jagade, the lead of a 1.5 year long study of 150 patients aged 45-64. The study found that individuals with hypertension had varying degrees of hearing loss.
On a positive note, the study noted that if hypertension was treated with medication, the risk of a hearing loss worsening was reduced. Because of this, they advised that early detection and intervention is of great importance. Dr. Jagade explained that “…hearing loss affects quality of life and, therefore, it’s important to rectify it as early as possible.”
Unfortunately only about half (54%) of people with high blood pressure have their condition under control. So the message here is clear: have regular health and hearing screenings, do what you can to reduce stress, maintain an active lifestyle, socialize with others, and eat a diet of vitamin dense foods.
Regular hearing assessments are an important part of maintaining overall good health. The impact of hearing loss can be wider reaching than just difficulty hearing, as we note in the 5 surprising ways hearing loss can hurt you. If it’s time for your annual hearing assessment, please get in touch with the hearing care specialists at Anderson Audiology. Call us today at 702-997-2964 and arrange an appointment at your convenience, or click here to request an appointment online.