Hearing health and how it relates to your heart

Posted: Sunday, February 27, 2011

A recent study published in the American Journal of Audiology found that the negative influence of impaired cardiovascular health on both the peripheral and central auditory system has the potential to affect an individual’s capacity to hear.

“The same study found that a healthy cardiovascular system — a person’s heart, arteries and veins — can have a positive effect on hearing,” said Ken Klepinger, BC-HIS of Juneau’s Hearing Center. “This gives us even more incentive to take steps to improve our heart and hearing health during February, National Heart Month.”

Klepinger advised starting any healthy heart plans with a check of your risk factors for heart disease including blood pressure, weight, cholesterol and blood sugar. By figuring out your personal risk for heart disease, you can determine with your doctor which healthy steps you should take toward a healthier heart. The Hearing Center recommends including a hearing check as part of your routine physical exams.

Stress reduction is another important part of protecting your heart because chronic tension can damage the cardiovascular system over time. Staying connected to friends and family is a great way to improve your mood and reduce stress. If you find you are avoiding social situations because you are missing conversation or asking for too many repeats, talk to a hearing care professional about today’s advanced technology hearing solutions.

“Left untreated, hearing loss has been found to lead to withdrawal, depression and social isolation,” Klepinger said. “Modern hearing solutions, like new Oticon Agil, do more than enhance your ability to hear conversation, even in noisy social situations. With Agil, you can connect wirelessly to cell phones so that you stay connected while you’re on the go.”

Klepinger added that wireless connectivity also allows you to enjoy high quality audio streaming from your television directly to your hearing instruments so you can enjoy your favorite shows with family and friends — without turning up the volume so loud you drive others out of the room.

To increase awareness of the link between heart and heart health, The Hearing Center is participating in “At the Heart of It. . .We Put People First,” a national campaign sponsored by Oticon, Inc. During February and March, a portion of the proceeds from every Agil hearing device fit by the Hearing Center will be donated to the American Heart Association to support life-saving research. For more information of hearing health and the new Oticon Agil, contact the Hearing Center at 789-2359 or (800) 770-2359.

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