Hypertension and Hearing Loss

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

Did you know that high blood pressure can also increase your risk of developing age-related hearing loss?

Age-related hearing loss usually begins to manifest in your 40s, 50s, or 60s. You probably won’t even notice your developing hearing loss even though it’s an irreversible condition. Typically, it’s the result of many years of noise-related damage. So how is hearing loss caused by hypertension? The answer is that high blood pressure can cause extensive damage to your blood vessels, including those in your ears.

Blood pressure and why it’s so important

The blood that runs through your circulatory system can move at various speeds. When the blood moves quicker than normal it means you have high blood pressure. Damage to your blood vessels can occur over time as a result. These damaged vessels grow less elastic and more prone to blockages. Cardiovascular issues, including a stroke, can be the consequence of these blockages. That’s one of the reasons why healthcare professionals frequently pay close attention to your blood pressure.

So, what is considered to be high blood pressure?

The general ratings for blood pressure include the following:

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

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

How is hearing loss caused by hypertension?

The blood vessels inside of your ear and your whole body can be damaged by hypertension. As these blood vessels get damaged, it’s likely that the nerves in your ear also endure lasting damage. The tiny hairs in your ears responsible for picking up vibrations, known as stereocilia, can also be negatively impacted by high blood pressure. When these stereocilia become damaged, they don’t heal, so any damage is effectively permanent.

This means that damage to the ears, regardless of the cause, can result in permanent hearing loss. Studies found that people who have healthy blood pressure readings tend to have a much lower prevalence of hearing loss. People who have hearing loss are more likely to have higher blood pressure. The findings of the research make clear that keeping your blood pressure under control can help you prevent the impacts of hearing loss.

What does high blood pressure feel like in your ears?

Normally, the symptoms of high blood pressure are hardly noticeable. High blood pressure isn’t the cause of “hot ears”. What are hot ears? It’s a symptom where your ears feel warm and get red. Normally, it’s an indication of changes in blood flow relating to emotions, hormones, and other non-blood pressure-associated problems.

High blood pressure can sometimes exacerbate tinnitus symptoms. But how can you tell if tinnitus is from high blood pressure? The only way to tell for sure is to speak with your doctor. Tinnitus is generally not a symptom of high blood pressure. High blood pressure is sometimes referred to as “the silent killer” for a good reason.

The majority of individuals find out they have high blood pressure when they go in for a yearly exam and get their vitals taken. This is one good reason to make sure you go to your yearly appointments.

How can you lower your blood pressure?

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

  • Take medication as prescribed: Sometimes, no amount of diet and exercise can counter or successfully treat high blood pressure. In those instances, (and even in situations where lifestyle changes have helped), medication could be required to help you control your hypertension.
  • Avoid sodium: Keep your eye on the amount of salt in your food, especially processed foods. Find lower sodium alternatives when you can (or stay away from processed foods when you can).
  • Get more exercise: Your blood pressure can be kept under control by exercising regularly.
  • Diet changes: Your blood pressure can be reduced by eating a Mediterranean diet. Basically, avoid foods like red meats and eat more fruits and vegetables.

A treatment plan to manage your blood pressure can be developed by your primary care doctor. Can hearing loss from high blood pressure be reversed? The answer depends. There is some evidence to indicate that reducing your blood pressure can help restore your hearing, at least in part. But at least some of the damage will most likely be permanent.

Your hearing will have a better chance of recovering if you address your blood pressure quickly.

Protecting your hearing

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

  • Talk to us: Any existing hearing loss can be protected and early detection will be possible by getting regular hearing screenings.
  • Wear hearing protection: You can protect your hearing by utilizing earplugs, earmuffs, or noise canceling headphones.
  • Avoiding loud venues and events: Try to steer clear of overly loud noises where you can, as these noises can cause damage to your ears. If these locations aren’t completely avoidable, minimize your time in noisy environments.

We can help you maintain your hearing into the future, so make an appointment right away.

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.

Questions? Talk To Us.