February is American Heart Health Month. You’re probably wondering why hearing health providers want you to be aware of healthy heart habits. A National Institute of Health study gives us the answer.
The study shows there is a 15% greater chance of developing hearing impairment when you have atherosclerosis (plaque buildup around your heart’s arteries), the leading cause of death in the U.S. The plaque buildup prevents adequate oxygen-rich blood from getting where it needs to, including the tiny cells of your inner ear where hearing takes place. Maintaining a healthy heart is also pretty important for maintaining your hearing.
The American Heart Association recommends that you eat a healthy diet, manage stress and weight, get regular exercise, quit smoking and maintain a healthy work environment to have a healthy heart. Easy enough! The good news is that, if your lifestyle is on track to having a healthy heart, the NIH study also showed that interventions targeting plaque prevention (regaining a healthy heart) may also help to prevent or delay the onset of hearing impairment.
In addition to keeping your heart healthy, other tips to maintain your hearing health include:
- Stay away from prolonged or sudden exposure to loud noises
- Wear proper ear protection if you must be exposed to loud noises
- Understand what dangerous sound levels are
- Listen to music at low to medium levels, especially when wearing headphones
- Get regular hearing evaluations
Hearing problems arise even in the absence of heart issues. And research shows that the long-term effects of living with untreated hearing impairment are far more wide-reaching than just communication problems. At American Hearing & Audiology we see people of all ages about their hearing. We perform hearing evaluations to let you know your hearing status right away. Living with untreated hearing loss can be dangerous in the long-term. If you or a loved one are being treated for heart issues or show signs of hearing loss, come see us to make sure you are hearing at your best.