The Link Between Hypertension & Hearing Loss

a woman with a moderate headache due to high blood pressure

Experiencing any level of hearing loss during your life can be an extremely frustrating and isolating experience. Not being able to hear the world around us as we have taken for granted can have untold effects on all areas of your life.

Many people tend not to give a second thought to our ears and, by extension, our hearing goes through day to day. But knowing about the different ways you can prevent hearing loss is vital to look after your hearing and reduce the risk of experiencing hearing loss.

Hearing loss can be experienced in different levels, from mild hearing loss to more severe levels or even a complete loss of hearing altogether.

Our hearing can start to diminish over time and as we age. Many different lifestyle factors can exacerbate the acceleration of hearing loss. Being in the presence of loud noises regularly, listening to music via headphones at high volumes, or via trauma to the head or ears themselves. Our physical health can also be a determining factor in how much hearing loss people experience as they age.

One such avenue that has been recently explored is the link between hypertension and hearing loss. Hypertension or high blood pressure is a contributing factor in strokes, heart disease, and hearing loss.

What is hypertension?

Hypertension is when your blood pushes through your arteries at a higher rate than normal. As the blood is pushed faster through your arteries, the artery walls can become damaged, and when they are damaged, fatty deposits can then build up in the arteries.

Your arteries supply the blood to the whole of your body, and as such, when damage occurs to the artery walls from high blood pressure and fatty deposits start to build up, this isn’t happening in just one part of your body. It is happening all over. This includes your ears, too, and is how hypertension can cause you to experience hearing loss.

The leading causes of high blood pressure or secondary hypertension in adults are;

  • Diet
  • Stress
  • Kidney problems
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Thyroid issues
  • Medication

There is no known cause for high blood pressure in some cases, and this is called primary hypertension. It is estimated that one in three Americans have high blood pressure, and only one-third of those adults have their blood pressure under control.

Getting hypertension under control can be done via changing your lifestyle, eating a healthier diet, reducing fats and high sugar foods, and medication use.

How does hypertension cause hearing loss?

When high blood pressure is left unchecked or goes unnoticed, the damage to the arterial walls will lead to fatty deposits in arteries all over the body, including the ears. This damage and the resulting fatty deposits are what cause hearing loss. 

While this may not contribute to more severe hearing loss, when a person is already experiencing a degree of hearing loss, this can become more significant in the presence of people with hypertension.

Surveys have been carried out to establish if there is a link between high blood pressure and found that in the people taking part in the study who experienced hearing loss due to aging, hypertension was an accelerating factor in the subjects who were aged between 45 and 64

Furthermore, hypertension is a contributing factor to other age-related conditions if not kept under control.

Hypertension and hearing loss

The link between high blood pressure and impaired hearing isn’t difficult to understand. When your blood pressure is high, your blood vessels are damaged. This damage isn’t centered in one area of the body – your entire body is affected, including your ears. And when the blood vessels in your ears are damaged – and have a fatty plaque buildup – your hearing could be impaired.

With this information, it is recommended that those who have a history of high blood pressure also undertake regular hearing tests to identify hearing loss and help prevent further damage. 

Our audiologists at Valley Hearing Center can help you to determine what action to take should you be concerned about your hearing and can help you explore your options with regards to taking preventative measures against hearing loss, as well as discussing your options should you require hearing aids.

Contact us today on 831-240-4162 to see how we can help you look after your hearing. Our experienced team is on hand to answer all your queries regarding ear health, hearing and more.