Hearing tests offer important information about your health. Because ears are so sensitive, hearing tests can potentially detect early signs of other health issues. What will a hearing exam tell you about your health.
A Hearing Exam, What is it?
Out of the various types of hearing exams, putting on headphones and listening to a series of tones is the basic assessment. In order to detect the depth of your hearing loss, the hearing professional will play the tones at various volumes and pitches.
In order to make sure you hear sounds correctly, another hearing test will play words in one ear and you will repeat them back. Sometimes, this test is purposely done with background sound to find out whether that affects your ability to hear. To be able to get an accurate measurement for each side, tests are done on each ear separately.
What is The Meaning of Hearing Test Results?
Whether somebody has hearing loss, and the extent of it, is what the normal hearing test determines. Adults with minor hearing loss, 25 decibels or less, are considered to have normal hearing. Using this test specialist can figure out if the loss of hearing is:
- Moderate to severe
The decibel level of the hearing loss defines the degree of damage.
Do Hearing Tests Determine Anything Else?
There are also test which can evaluate the viability of structures of the middle ear like the eardrum, how well someone hears with background noise, the threshold of air and bone conduction, and the type of hearing loss.
Other health problems can also be revealed by a hearing examination like:
- Meniere’s disease and other problems with dizziness and vertigo.
- Diabetes. It’s thought that too much sugar in the blood can injure blood vessels including the one that feeds the inner ear.
- Heart and circulation problems. The inner ear has one blood vessel, which makes it more susceptible to alterations in blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. Research reveals that people with RA are as much as 300 percent more likely to have hearing loss.
- And, Otosclerosis, which if caught early enough, has the possibility of being reversed.
- Paget’s disease, which can cause extreme headaches and pain in the joints and bones.
The hearing specialist will take all the insight uncovered by hearing tests and use it to figure out whether you have:
- Damage caused by exposure to ototoxic chemicals or medications, loud noises
- Injury from trauma
- Abnormal bone growths
- Injury from chronic disease or infections
- Hearing loss related to aging
- A different medical issue causing the hearing loss like high blood pressure
When you discover why you have loss of hearing, you can try to find ways to manage it and to protect your general health.
The hearing specialist will also look at the results of the exam to identify risk factors caused by your loss of hearing and create a preemptive plan to lower those risks.
If You Ignore Hearing Loss, What Are The Risks?
Medical science is starting to recognize how quality of life and health are affected by loss of hearing. Researchers from Johns Hopkins examined 636 individuals over 12 years. They found that an increased risk of dementia comes with loss of hearing. The risk increases with more substantial hearing loss.
Based on to this study, a person with mild hearing loss has 2 times the risk of dementia. A moderate loss means three times the risk, and severe hearing impairment increases the risk by five.
Also, social decline is apparent in people with hearing loss. People who have difficulty following conversations will avoid engaging in them. Less time with family and friends and more alone time can be the outcome.
A recent bout of fatigue could also be explained by a hearing test. The brain works to translate sound, so you can comprehend what you hear. When there is hearing loss, it will have to work harder to pick up on sound and translate it. That robs your other senses of energy and makes you feel tired all the time.
Finally, the National Council on Aging states there is a clear correlation between loss of hearing and depression, especially age-related hearing loss when it is left untreated.
Treating hearing loss, with hearing aids or other hearing technology, can get rid of or decrease these risks, and step one for proper treatment is a hearing test.
An expert hearing test is a painless and comfortable way to find out a lot about your hearing and your health, so why are you waiting to schedule your appointment?