February is American Heart Month, and there’s no time like the present to think about how your heart health might be affecting your hearing.
The Heart and Hearing Connection
While they still don’t know exactly why, many experts believe that hearing and heart health are linked; and low-frequency hearing loss can indicate an impending or underlying issue in the cardiovascular system.
Cardiovascular disease constricts blood vessels and causes reduced blood flow to all areas of the body—including the inner ear—which happens to be ultra-sensitive. Less blood flow to the inner ear can cause moderate to severe hearing issues.
Heart disease kills about 610,000 people in the United States every year and is the leading cause of death for both men and women. That’s why it’s so important for anyone experiencing hearing issues and for everyone 40+ to get a hearing test as part of your routine medical care.
Different Types of Hearing Loss
High-Frequency Hearing Loss
High-frequency hearing loss is the type that many people experience with aging. Those afflicted have trouble hearing sounds in the 2,000 to 8,000 Hertz range. In speech, this includes consonants such as s, h or f. You may struggle to make out women’s voices more than men’s and find it hard to hear birds sing or the doorbell ring. It may seem like everyone is mumbling, especially on the telephone.
Low-Frequency Hearing Loss
The opposite of conventional hearing loss, low-frequency hearing loss results in an inability to hear sounds below about 500 Hertz, the equivalent of a bass drum, a man’s deep voice or the rumble of thunder. You likely still understand speech clearly, which makes low-frequency hearing loss more difficult to diagnose. In fact, the only clue that you have a hearing problem might be a difficulty following conversations in large groups or noisy environments. Low-frequency hearing loss is the kind that may be associated with potential heart conditions.
How Hearing Aids Can Help
Hearing aid technology has vastly improved over the last decade making them a viable option for anyone experiencing hearing loss.
They are comfortable. Beltone hearing aids simulate the way human ears process sound and reduce feedback that can occur when talking on the phone or hugging a friend.
They are adaptable. Whether you are eating at a noisy restaurant; walking in the park; or sitting inside chatting, your hearing aid can be adjusted to the environment.
They are connected. Beltone hearing aids can be adjusted and fine-tuned from the Beltone HearPlus app and allow for direct audio streaming from any Apple device.
If you are experiencing any type of hearing loss, the first step is to see a Beltone Hearing Care Practitioner. It’s easy to request an appointment at your local Beltone location, or to take our online hearing test.