A Link Between Hypertension & Hearing Loss

They call it the silent killer. Affecting nearly half of all Americans, many of whom don’t even realize that they have it. It is the main cause of heart attacks and strokes.

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is one of the most common medical conditions in the country. Hypertension is when the pressure of the blood running through your arteries is too high. Blood pressure naturally rises and falls throughout the day. Consequently, the danger is when it stays high for a long time. The reason it is a silent killer is that it usually has no symptoms until the condition is urgent. The sufferer can’t feel the pressure of the blood in their arteries and doesn’t feel like anything is wrong. But without treatment, the risk of heart attack and stroke increases dramatically over the course of their life.

Hearing loss

Most people know that hypertension (or high blood pressure) leads to cardiovascular disease and stroke. But, did you know that it has also been linked to hearing loss? That’s according to a study conducted in 2013. It looked at 45-64-year olds, some of whom have hypertension and some who don’t. The study found that the hearing of those with high blood pressure was changing due to their hearing apparatus aging faster than those with normal blood pressure. This resulted in their hearing threshold increasing. The quietest sound a person can hear was higher for those with hypertension.

More evidence of the link between hearing loss and hypertension is available in an article by the American Heart Foundation. Here, the researchers found a connection between hypertension and sudden changes in hearing. The study also found that a person who suffers this sudden hearing loss was 150% more likely to experience a stroke two years after experiencing the change in hearing. As strokes are usually caused by hypertension, it could be that experiencing hearing loss is an indication of dangerously high blood pressure.

What is happening inside the body which makes high blood pressure affect the hearing? High blood pressure damages cells around the body, which also includes the tiny blood vessels which carry blood to the ear cells. If high blood pressure is chronic, there is a real risk of permanent damage to the ears. But luckily, if the high blood pressure can be brought down to a normal level after a short while, then the ears are able to recover from the damage.

Risk Factors for High Blood Pressure

People may experience high blood pressure due to a combination of nature and nurture. Some people are more likely if they have a family history of the disease. You are also at greater risk the older you get. This is because blood vessels are less elastic in our later years. However, there are also lifestyle choices we make that are a major factor in developing hypertension, such as smoking, a lack of exercise, and eating a diet high in sodium.

The obvious advice for those who wish to lower their blood pressure is to maintain a healthy diet, regular exercise, refrain from smoking and drinking excessively, and take actions to reduce everyday stress. Of particular interest is the DASH diet, which is a special low-sodium diet for hypertension sufferers. It stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension and its proponents claim that it can help reduce blood pressure by a few points in just two weeks. Over time, it can affect a reduction in systolic blood pressure by eight to 14 points.

In the meantime, it is advised that people with hearing loss or hypertension have regular hearing and blood pressure check-ups. In other words, if you suffer from hypertension, you should get your hearing checked even if you don’t think you have a hearing problem, and vice versa.

Your primary care provider can check your blood pressure as part of your annual check-up. A certified hearing specialist can provide a thorough hearing test. Doing both is important because poor hearing could indicate high blood pressure, and high blood pressure could be an indication that hearing loss could occur soon. The two conditions go hand-in-hand. Keeping this connection in mind could go a long way in preserving your hearing, or more importantly, your life.

Visit Hearing Group for a professional hearing assessment

If you think your blood pressure may be putting your hearing at risk, or you are concerned about your hearing ability for any other reason, a hearing evaluation is of utmost importance. At Hearing Group, we offer comprehensive hearing screenings and hearing aid fittings. We can help you find the devices that are just right for you. Make your appointment today!

Jesse Hidalgo, BC-HIS

Jesse is Board Certified in Hearing Instruments and has built over 25 practices during his business career starting in 1998. Using his training in Hearing Instrument Sciences he has helped thousands of patients across those practices hear better.
Published: January 29, 2019

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Noise Can Damage More Than Hearing
Loud noise is not only bad for your ears but can play a negative role in your overall health. Exposure to loud and annoying sounds can affect our blood pressure, cause headaches, cause irritability, and even cause fatigue. When we hear a sound that is annoying to us,...
Making the Most of Your Appointments
Just like your car, your hearing aids and hearing health can benefit from routine care and maintenance. After a hearing aid fitting, you are likely to be asked to come back for follow-up appointments. These routine visits offer great opportunities for you to ask your...
What to Ask Your Hearing Aid Specialist
Coming to terms with your hearing loss isn’t easy. Chances are you’ve put off going to the hearing aid clinic for as long as you could. In that time, you probably got used to living with hearing loss. Wearing a hearing aid can feel overwhelming at first. It’s a big...
Tips on Tinnitus Relief
How Do I Improve Tinnitus? Nearly 30 million Americans suffer from tinnitus. Tinnitus is a condition known to cause ringing, buzzing, and other noises in the ear. During the day, these sounds aren’t as noticeable. But when nighttime rolls around and you should be...
Why Do My Ears Feel Clogged?
Reasons for that Clogged Ear Feeling Are you having issues with your ears? Do they feel stuffy and clogged? Are you suffering from sudden hearing loss or difficulty hearing? There could be a simple reason for this – impacted earwax, a sinus infection or something...
Acupuncture for Hearing Loss & Tinnitus: Does it Really Work?
Acupuncture is an ancient medical treatment that began in China. This therapy involves sticking small needles in very specific parts of the body. It may be used to treat pain and help with other conditions. A person with hearing loss may want to try acupuncture for...
Studies on Hearing Loss & Injuries
Hearing loss is an issue that affects millions of people and there are various causes that some might not have considered. This article is going to highlight a few of the symptoms associated with hearing loss, certain causes, possible treatments, and the benefits of...
Hearing Loss Cures of the Past
There is a long list of past "treatments" for hearing loss. It's important to note that none of these were ever scientifically proven to work and can, in most cases, actually do more harm than good. Thankfully, doctors, today do not prescribe such bizarre remedies....
Ear Infections & Hearing Loss
Ear infections are more often seen in children than in adults, although untreated infections in adults can be more serious. Infection of an adult ear should be carefully diagnosed and monitored by a physician to lower the risks of problems. There are certain factors,...
Conductive Hearing Loss: Signs, Causes, and Treatments
Parts of the Ear There are three basic parts of the ear: Outer ear - the outermost portion of the ear Middle ear - found between the inner and outer ear, includes the Ossicles, Malleus, Incus, and Stapes Inner ear - The innermost portion of the ear consisting of the...
Call Now Button