Continuing my series on health topics as they relate to hearing loss, we come to Cardiovascular Disease (CV). Cardiovascular disease includes both Heart Disease and strokes which are the number one and two killers in our society today, accounting for 33.6% of all deaths in the US .This disease is also one of the most preventable. Physicians feel that early identification together with changes in lifestyle and medication, can promote dramatic decreases in the death rate from this disease.
This is another health area in which we in the hearing profession can help patients by being cutting edge. For example, we need to keep in mind the effects of a poor vascular system on the Organ of Corti. One study found that a low frequency hearing loss is a possible early marker for cardiovascular disease. This is due to the inner ear being highly vascular and sensitive to changes in blood flow. The ear, however, is currently not one of the organs identified at risk in CV disease prediction guidelines.
I will be touching on diabetes and other factors in future blogs, all of which have a common thread: prevention. Healthier lifestyles associated with exercise and better eating habits are important in prevention and also may contribute to better hearing health as well. I tell some patients that if they don’t follow their Doctor’s orders, their hearing won’t matter in the end since they will be dead.
On that happy note, park a little farther so you can walk more and use the stairs :)