Doctor measures the pressure of the patient during a medical examination and consultation in the hospital

Are you aware that your risk of developing age-related hearing loss can be increased if you have high blood pressure?

Age-related hearing loss normally starts to manifest in your 40s, 50s, or 60s. You most likely won’t even notice your developing hearing loss even though it’s an irreversible condition. Usually, it’s the consequence of many years of noise-related damage. So how is hearing loss a result of hypertension? The blood vessels inside of your ears and your blood vessels in general can be damaged by high blood pressure.

Blood pressure and why it’s so important

The blood that runs through your circulatory system can move at various speeds. High blood pressure means that this blood moves more quickly than normal. Damage to your blood vessels can occur over time because of this. These blood vessels that have been harmed lose their elasticity and often become blocked. Cardiovascular issues, like a stroke, can be the consequence of these blockages. That’s one reason why healthcare professionals often pay close attention to your blood pressure.

So, what is considered to be high blood pressure?

Here are the general ratings for high blood pressure:

  • Normal: 120/8o
  • Stage 1 Hypertension: 130-139/80-89
  • Stage 2 Hypertension: 140 or Higher/90 or higher

A hypertensive crisis occurs when your blood pressure is over 180/120. This kind of event should be dealt with immediately.

How is hearing loss caused by hypertension?

The blood vessels in your ear and your whole body can be damaged by hypertension. As these blood vessels become damaged, it’s likely that the nerves in your ear also suffer lasting damage. Additionally, high blood pressure can negatively impact the stereocilia in your ear (the little hairs responsible for sensing vibrations). When these stereocilia become damaged, they don’t heal, so any damage is effectively irreversible.

So regardless of the particular cause, permanent hearing loss can be the consequence of any damage. Research indicates that those who have normal blood pressure readings tend to have a far lower prevalence of hearing loss. Those who reported higher blood pressure were also more likely to have more extreme hearing loss. The findings of the study make clear that keeping your blood pressure under control can help you avoid the effects of hearing loss.

What does high blood pressure feel like in your ears?

In the vast majority of cases, high blood pressure is a symptomless condition. High blood pressure doesn’t cause “hot ears”. “Hot ears” is an affliction where your ears feel hot and become red. Typically, it’s a sign of changes in blood flow relating to emotions, hormones, and other non-blood pressure-related problems.

High blood pressure can sometimes exacerbate tinnitus symptoms. But how do you know if tinnitus is from high blood pressure? The only way to know for certain is to speak with your doctor. Tinnitus generally isn’t a symptom of high blood pressure. There’s a reason that high blood pressure is often referred to as “the silent killer”.

The majority of people find out they have high blood pressure when they go in for a yearly exam and have their vitals taken. This is one good reason to be certain that you go to your yearly appointments.

How is high blood pressure treated?

Typically, there are various factors that contribute to high blood pressure. That’s why lowering blood pressure may call for a variety of approaches. In general, you should talk with your primary care doctor to lower your blood pressure. Here’s what that management might entail:

  • Get more exercise: Getting regular exercise (or simply getting your body moving on a regular basis) can help decrease your overall blood pressure.
  • Diet changes: Your blood pressure can be lowered by eating a Mediterranean diet. Eat more fruits and vegetables and abstain from things like red meat.
  • Avoid sodium: Take note of the amount of sodium in your food, particularly processed foods. Find lower salt alternatives when you can (or avoid processed foods when you can).
  • Take medication as prescribed: Sometimes, no amount of diet and exercise can prevent or successfully manage high blood pressure. In those instances, (and even in cases where lifestyle changes have worked), medication could be required to help you manage your hypertension.

A treatment plan to manage your blood pressure can be developed by your primary care physician. Can hearing loss as a result of high blood pressure be reversed? The answer depends. There is some evidence to indicate that lowering your blood pressure can help revive your hearing, at least in part. But at least some of the damage will likely be permanent.

Your hearing will have a better chance of recuperating if you address your blood pressure promptly.

Safeguarding your hearing

You can safeguard your hearing in other ways besides reducing your blood pressure. This could include:

  • Avoiding loud venues and events: Try to steer clear of overly loud noises when you can, as these noises can lead to damage to your ears. If you really need to be in an environment with overly loud noise, at least minimize your exposure time.
  • Talk to us: Having your hearing screened regularly can help you protect your hearing and detect any hearing loss early.
  • Wear hearing protection: You can safeguard your hearing by using earplugs, earmuffs, or noise canceling headphones.

We can help you maintain your hearing into the future, so make an appointment as soon as possible.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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