Heart Health and Your hearing

Heart Health and Your Hearing

Dale Johnson:
Welcome to The Conversation Starts Here on KFOR FM, 103.3, 12:40 a.m. The expert from Complete Hearing is Dr. Sandra Miller. Check out the expertise of Complete Hearing at complete-hearing.com. Good morning, Dr. Miller.

Dr. Sandra Miller Au.D:
Good morning, Dale.

Dale Johnson:
Heart disease is our subject today. Heart disease is a top cause of death for both men and women and we always link it to hearing. It can be associated with hearing loss. Thank you for bringing in Tessa Warner. Tessa is involved with the Circle of Red for Women. She is the chair of the organization this year. Tessa, thanks for joining us on The Conversation Starts Here this morning.

Tessa Warner:
Well, thank you so much for inviting me. This is an important subject to be talking about.

Dr. Sandra Miller Au.D:
Love the fact that Tessa is able to join us. Part of Complete Hearing’s mission is to make sure that we do reach out to our community and we are involved in things that are important and that matter. And so we’ve talked many times about how we treat our patients as an entire person and their overall health is so important. And so tying cardiovascular disease just in regards to hearing loss is something we talk about with a lot of our patients.

Dr. Sandra Miller Au.D:
Many people will come in and have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, hypertension, they’ll have things where they’re maybe not as healthy as they need to be and not understanding the correlation to hearing loss. And so when we train our patients again, we talk about just overall health.

Dr. Sandra Miller Au.D:
So, I wanted to have Tessa on today just to talk about this really important matter that I think oftentimes people aren’t aware how much this affects women, and really to give us some education on some of their upcoming events and just to give us some really, insight, because it’s an organization, we love to support and we want to share that with them, the listeners today.

Tessa Warner:
You know, I am a healthy 36 year old woman and I never would have imagined that I would have two friends who are both my age, both in great health, be affected by a cardiovascular issue. One of those friends had an anoxic brain injury and for her, her life may never be the same. And that’s a really scary thought for me.

Tessa Warner:
And then when I started reading the statistics of how many women are affected by this, one in three women are affected by cardiovascular disease. And having these two friends who were greatly affected by a heart episode, it just really opened my eyes to what am I doing to make sure that I’m taking care of my own heart health?

Tessa Warner:
Again, I’m relatively healthy, but we still need to be working hard on making sure that we’re keeping those hearts healthy and it’s something that I’ve become very passionate about.

Dr. Sandra Miller Au.D:
I love that fact. And so on an audiology side, when it comes to when our patients do come in with some of these maybe precursors, there are times we’ve actually identified patients who have maybe a reverse sloping hearing loss, which can be an indication of heart disease, where we’re saying, “How is your heart health? What does blood pressure looks like? What does your cholesterol look like?” And so when we look at those things, what happens in the ear is when there’s not good blood flow in it, we should talk about overall health today as well as that when there’s not good blood flow, we’re not oxygenating ourselves like we need to, and it regards to the ear, what happens there is it can definitely cause some poor circulation to the inner ear, which can result in some permanent hearing loss.

Tessa Warner:
We have to take care of our mental health and our physical house in order to tackle this cardiovascular issue that women have. So, I’m really excited that we have both a mental health expert and a physician that will be talking about how we can make sure to set some time aside for us to make sure that we’re continuing to focus on our own health because we can’t pour from an empty cup. We have to make sure that our own health is taken care of before we can think about the health of our loved ones.

Dale Johnson:
Tessa, I see one of your speakers is a 31 year old mother, a wife, who is a stroke survivor. My mother had a stroke when she was 39.

Tessa Warner:
Wow.

Dr. Sandra Miller Au.D:
Wow.

Dale Johnson:
And she lived to be 82.

Tessa Warner:
Oh, that’s fantastic.

Dale Johnson:
And so I just want listeners to know that a stroke at any age is not a death sentence. They can live a life, albeit a little changed medically, physically, but they can continue on with a very nice life.

Tessa Warner:
Thank you for saying that because the two friends that I’ve had that have been affected by cardiovascular events, one of them I mentioned had an anoxic brain injury, the other one had a pacemaker put in and for all intents and purposes is living life as she would have normally done. In fact, with fewer risks, because now that she has a pacemaker, it’s keeping her from having that level drop off.

Tessa Warner:
But, it’s great to see that, knowing what the signs are, being able to get help early. One of the issues that we had with the friend that had the anoxic brain injury, she didn’t get help. She was by herself. She didn’t get that help right away. So, knowing what the signs are of a heart issue or cardiovascular event is really important in making sure that you can get that help quickly so that you don’t have those longterm effects.

Dale Johnson:
Dr. Miller, I want to circle back to something that you said today and something that you’ve said before, and that’s the link between blood flow and hearing. We’ve got a couple of minutes left. Could you reiterate that and help people understand what your heart has to do with your hearing?

Dr. Sandra Miller Au.D:
Absolutely. So we’ve talked a lot, in the past like you said, Dale, in regards to, it’s just all honestly about good circulation and I was thinking about COVID in general and I had many of my friends say, “Well, we’re either going to come out of this more stressed out and more overweight because we are at home eating everything, or we’re going to take this extra time to be more healthy and take this time to be exercising and taking care of ourselves and talking like Tessa said about self care.”

Dr. Sandra Miller Au.D:
So, I think it’s so important when you know about what good circulation plays a role in your entire body. And when that doesn’t happen in regards to feeding yourself good information, and when in regards to hearing, what happens is that when that blood flow is just restricted to the ear, obviously the heart’s not working correctly, there might be plaque builds up, there might be circulatory problems of diabetes, things like that.

Dr. Sandra Miller Au.D:
And when we don’t get good blood flow to the inner ear, we have hearing loss. And I like also what Tessa said, is hearing loss can happen at any age. And so we often times think of heart disease as being a younger person’s, they’re not so concerned about it because they know they’re more healthy, but it happens at every age. And that’s in direct correlation to hearing loss as well. Hearing loss isn’t just an older person’s problem. And so we think about overall general good health and when we look at all the things that impact us in regards to blood flow, in regards to taking care of ourselves, it has an impact on all the cells throughout your body, including your heart and including your ear.

Dale Johnson:
Tessa. Thank you very much for joining us on the conversation starts here.

Tessa Warner:
Thank you so much. I really appreciate being invited.

Dale Johnson:
And Dr. Miller, appreciate you bringing Tessa our way and we’ll talk again next week.

Dr. Sandra Miller Au.D:
Sounds great, Dale. Thanks so much.

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