February is Heart Month!

Heart month is the Heart and Stoke Foundation’s opportunity to reach millions of Canadians to alert them to the risks of heart disease and stroke and to raise awareness and donations to support life-saving research within our communities. Heart disease and stroke take one life every 7 minutes and 90% of Canadians have at least one risk factor.

Research has shown that there is a strong relationship between hearing loss and heart health. Heart disease, hypertension, or any other disorder that causes a restriction of blood supply to the auditory system can result in hearing loss and it can progress over time. Additionally, restriction of blood supply can compound the impact of hearing loss from noise exposure, injury and disease, which means those individuals are even more at risk for hearing loss.

It has been shown that adults with cardiovascular disease have worse hearing at all thresholds tested on a standard hearing test.  It has also been found that there is a change in the anatomy of the cochlea (hearing organ) in younger adults who have early onset heart disease. The change for these younger adults isn’t isolated to the peripheral hearing; there are also changes that can be found in the central auditory system. This is part of the hearings system where the sounds are processed into words and meaning.

We promote regular hearing tests for all individuals, but because of the increased risk of hearing loss, it is especially important for those with risk factors for heart disease to monitor their hearing status.

To learn more about heart disease visit The Heart and Stroke Foundation website