According to a 2010 study published in the American Journal of Audiology, there is a definitive link between hearing loss and heart health. One of the most common indicators of a healthy heart is a healthy blood pressure rate. Blood pressure measures the force and rate of our heartbeats, which can give doctors a good idea of how elastic our arterial walls are. Higher blood pressure means the heart is working harder to do its job.
With approximately one third, or 75 million, of Americans diagnosed with high blood pressure, addressing the connection between hearing loss and heart health is crucial. High blood pressure is often the first, and best, indicator of future heart issues.
What Does Blood Pressure Have To Do With Hearing Loss?
High blood pressure is defined as excessive long-term force of the blood being exerted against the artery walls, according to the Mayo Clinic. Most people will have no signs or symptoms, even with high blood pressure readings, which makes awareness even more critical. The risks of untreated high blood pressure include damage to the blood vessels, stroke, and heart attack.
Our heartbeat is a sign of rich, oxygenated blood being pushed through the network of blood vessels in our bodies. The rest of our organs need that blood to function optimally. The excessive force of high blood pressure causes damage to the large system of arteries and veins running through our entire bodies. Often, people go years without realizing that their large arteries and blood vessels are under constant stress. Now, think about those same years of stress on the tiny and much more delicate blood vessels of the inner ear.
Of course, you should always schedule an appointment with your primary care physician if you have concerns about any aspects of your health. Happily, though, there are simple dietary changes you can make that will go a long way in restoring blood vessel health.
Dietary Changes For Good Hearing Health
By now we know that a varied and balanced diet, with plenty of fruits and vegetables, is key to our overall good health. Below is a breakdown of foods that may provide that extra boost to our ears:
- Bananas, Spinach, Potatoes, Melons, Artichokes
These contain Potassium, Calcium, and Magnesium, nutrients proven to support healthy blood pressure as part of a balanced diet.
- Milk, Kale, Broccoli, Yogurt, Salmon
Rich in Calcium and Vitamin D, essential building blocks for bones. In addition to the delicate blood vessels, the inner ear is also home to the three tiniest bones in the human body. These bones are critical to hearing function and need to be in tip-top shape.
- Asparagus, Beans, Rice, Tomatoes, Berries
Folic Acid, Magnesium, and Vitamin C, all found in these foods, have been shown to protect against free radicals and to improve circulation.
- Bananas, Lima Beans, Apricots, Oranges, Potatoes
Potassium is known to mitigate muscle cramping, but it also plays a key role in regulating the body’s fluids. The inner ear fluid removes waste from the ear and needs to operate at optimal levels.
The bottom line is that a healthy lifestyle will impact your whole body, including the inner recesses of your ears. In addition to taking in healthy food, remember to block out unhealthy noises. Protect your ears by limiting headphone use and using ear protection in loud environments. Schedule an appointment with us to evaluate your hearing health and see your primary doctor for an overall health evaluation.