High blood pressure, also called hypertension, occurs when the force of blood pushing against the artery walls is too high, and the heart has to work harder to pump blood through the arteries. Though most people have no symptoms, some individuals with severely high blood pressure may experience shortness of breath, headaches and nosebleeds. Because high blood pressure doesn’t always exhibit symptoms, it is important to check it regularly.
High blood pressure can increase your risk for stroke, heart attack, hearing loss and more when left untreated. Let’s examine the link between high blood pressure and hearing loss and how you can minimize the risk of developing high blood pressure-induced hearing loss.
How Are Hearing Loss and High Blood Pressure Connected?
A study on the relationship between high blood pressure and hearing loss tested the hearing of 300 non-hypertensive patients and 300 patients. The results showed a positive correlation between the two and recommended that individuals with hypertension be screened regularly for signs of hearing loss.
Another study found that hypertension accelerates the degeneration of the hearing apparatus and increases the hearing threshold. The increased hearing threshold from hypertension makes it harder for the listener to detect and understand sounds.
One possible culprit for the link is the effect damaged blood vessels from high blood pressure have on your hearing. Damaged blood vessels in the ear can build up over time and damage the inner ear, leading to temporary or permanent hearing loss.
It is important to manage blood pressure to protect against temporary or permanent damage to your inner ear.
Tips for Preventing High Blood Pressure
The Mayo Clinic offers the following tips for preventing high blood pressure:
- Eat healthy and exercise. Regular physical activity and a healthy diet rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables and low in sodium can help lower blood pressure. Try including a walk to the park in your daily routine and adding one more serving of fruits or vegetables to every meal.
- Reduce stress. Long-term stress can negatively impact blood pressure. Try adding nightly journaling or meditation or attend a weekly class at Bending Light Yoga to help lower stress.
- Get a full night’s sleep. It can be easy to miss sleep when we get busy or stressed. Do your best to get between seven and eight hours of sleep to avoid exhaustion-induced hypertension.
- Quit smoking. Smoking can increase your blood pressure and contribute to the development of lung cancer, stroke, emphysema and more. Do your best to quit smoking, and don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family for help.
- Limit alcohol. Excess alcohol consumption can increase blood pressure. Ask your doctor to help you determine the correct limit for you.
Contact Aaron's Hearing Aid & Audiology Center today to speak to an audiologist about protecting your hearing.