Can Blood Pressure Affect Hearing?

This blog post has been reviewed and approved by a hearing care professional.

Hypertension, or high blood pressure may affect your hearing. The Government of Canada defines high blood pressure as “pressure in your blood vessels is too high. Constant high blood pressure can damage your blood vessels and eventually lead to various health problems.”1


When you consider how close to the brain and how much blood is flowing in and out, it is not surprising that blood pressure may affect your hearing. Depending on the severity of blood pressure, it may cause hearing loss and/or tinnitus. It can also affect the degree and severity of your hearing health issues that you already experience.

Hearing Loss and Blood Pressure

Hearing loss can affect one or both ears and leads to difficulty in hearing speech or other sounds. Hearing loss is one of the most common and fastest growing chronic conditions in Canada.2 It is most common for seniors, but around 25% of all Canadians currently have some level of hearing loss.2 Research has shown increased rates of hearing loss in individuals with high blood pressure.3


Our ears depend on a network of blood vessels and delicate hair cells for us to hear. If the blood vessels or hair cells are damaged it can affect our ability to hear. In individuals with high blood pressure the blood vessels can be damaged throughout the body including in the ear. If your blood pressure stays high for too long, it can permanently damage your hearing.4

Sudden Hearing Loss and Blood Pressure
Any sudden changes in your hearing should not be ignored and may be a warning sign. One study found that sudden sensorineural hearing loss can be an early warning sign of an impending stroke.5 If you experience any sudden changes to your hearing please speak with your doctor as soon as possible and get your hearing assessed.
Tinnitus and Blood Pressure

Tinnitus, also known as ringing in the ears, is a commonly reported complaint of people with high blood pressure. A study shows that 44.4% of people with tinnitus also have high blood pressure.6

Other common sounds of tinnitus include a beating, pulsing or a heartbeat-like sound which could be linked to high blood pressure. We recommend speaking with your doctor if you are experiencing these sounds, known as pulsatile tinnitus.

What is Pulsatile Tinnitus?
Pulsatile tinnitus is a rare variety of tinnitus where the sound you hear is rhythmic or pulsing, usually similar to the rhythm of one’s heartbeat. This type of tinnitus may be associated with the vascular system. The sounds heard are usually more like rushing, whooshing, thumping or throbbing.7
The Takeaway
High blood pressure and hearing loss may occur together. It may warrant a discussion with your doctor if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms or concerns. If you are looking for a hearing test, contact one of our local hearing centres to book an appointment.

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1 “About High Blood Pressure”. Government of Canada. February 6, 2017. Accessed on February 6, 2023.

2 “Hearing health of Canadian Adults.” Statistics Canada. October 20, 2021. Accessed on March 15, 2023.

3 Agarwal, Saurabh, Aseem Mishra, Mohan Jagade, Vimal Kasbekar, Smita Nagle. “Effects of Hypertension on Hearing”. National Library of Medicine. February 13, 2013. Accessed on February 6, 2023.

4 “High blood pressure dangers: Hypertension’s effects on your body.” Mayo Clinic. January 14, 2022. Accessed on March 15, 2023.

5 Lin, Herng-Ching, Pin-Zhir Chao, Hsin-Chien Lee. “Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss Increases the Risk of Stroke”. AHA Journals. June 26, 2008. Accessed on February 6, 2023.

6 Figueiredo, Ricardo Rodrigues, Andreia Aparecida Azevedo, Norma De Oliveira Penido. “Positive Association between Tinnitus and Arterial Hypertension”. National Library of Medicine. October 5, 2016. Accessed on February 6, 2023.

7 “Pulsatile Tinnitus - Symptoms and Causes”. Penn Medicine. Accessed on March 15, 2023.