While heart disease can lead to hearing loss, maintaining a healthy heart can reduce your risk. Many of the things you can do to take care of your heart will also help protect your hearing:
- Avoid smoking: Since smoking is known to be harmful to your heart and your inner ears, quitting the habit and avoiding secondhand smoke can help reduce the risk for both heart disease and hearing loss.
- Exercise: An active lifestyle is another way protect both systems. Whether you prefer walking, jogging, swimming, or other physical activity, exercising for 20-30 minutes per day, four or five days a week, can contribute to a healthy heart and healthy hearing.
- Eat well: Also important is proper nutrition. A heart-healthy diet should include plenty of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and fish, while avoiding foods with high amounts of saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium.
Very few health conditions occur in a vacuum—what happens to one system can lead to problems in another part of the body. If you already have hearing loss, it’s important to speak to your healthcare professional about whether it indicates heart disease as well. And if you suspect you have hearing loss, its connection to your heart health should be reason enough to get your hearing tested