Important information about your state of health is offered by a hearing test. Because ears are so sensitive, hearing tests can potentially detect early signs of other health problems. What will a hearing test tell you about your health.
A Hearing Exam, What is it?
Out of the various kinds of hearing exams, putting on earphones and listening to a series of sounds is the basic examination. In order to discover the depth of your hearing loss, the hearing professional will play the tones at different pitches and volumes.
Another common hearing exam consists of listening to words in one ear and repeating them back to make certain you are able to interpret sounds correctly. To identify what type of sounds influence your hearing, background noise is sometimes added to this test. To be able to get a proper measurement for each side, tests are done on each ear individually.
What is The Significance of Hearing Test Results?
Ultimately, a common hearing test pinpoints whether someone has hearing loss and how bad it is. Normal hearing in adults with minor loss of hearing is 25 decibels or less. From there, hearing experts gauge hearing loss as:
- Moderate to severe
The decibel level of the hearing loss identifies the amount of damage.
Do Hearing Tests Measure Anything Else?
There are also test that can evaluate the viability of structures of the middle ear such as the eardrum, how well someone hears with background noise, the threshold of air and bone conduction, and the type of hearing loss.
But hearing exams can also uncover other health concerns such as:
- Diabetes. Impaired blood vessels, like the ones in the inner ear, can theoretically be damaged by high levels of sugar in the blood.
- Heart and circulation issues. The inner ear has one blood vessel, which makes it more sensitive to changes in blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Otosclerosis, which if diagnosed early can possibly be reversed.
- Extreme headaches and pain in the joints caused by Paget’s disease.
- Dizziness, vertigo, and other challenges associated with Meniere’s disease.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. Research reveals that people with RA are as much as 300 percent more likely to have hearing loss.
The insight from the hearing test can be used by the expert to determine if you have the following:
- Another medical problem causing the hearing loss like high blood pressure
- Injury from trauma
- Irregular bone growths
- Injury from exposure to ototoxic chemicals or medications, loud noises
- Age related hearing loss
- Injury from chronic infections or disease
You can try to find ways to safeguard your health and manage your loss of hearing once you discover why you have it.
The hearing specialist will also look at the results of the test to identify risk factors caused by your loss of hearing and create a preemptive plan to lower those risks.
What Are The Risks of Ignoring Hearing Loss?
Medical science is starting to understand 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 a greater risk of dementia comes with loss of hearing. The risk increases with more substantial hearing loss.
According to this study, a person with mild loss of hearing has double the risk of dementia. Three times the risk comes with moderate loss of hearing and five times the risk with severe hearing loss.
There is evidence of social decline with hearing loss, as well. People who have difficulty following conversations will avoid engaging in them. Less time with family and friends and more time alone can be the result.
A hearing test could clarify a recent bout of exhaustion, too. The brain works to translate sound, so you can comprehend what you hear. When there is loss of hearing, it will have to work harder to detect sound and translate it. Your left always feeling tired as your other senses are robbed of energy.
Finally, the National Council on Aging states there is a clear correlation between hearing loss and depression, particularly, when left untreated, age related loss of hearing.
Treating hearing loss, with hearing aids or other hearing technology, can get rid of or mitigate these risks, and a hearing test is step one for proper treatment.
A professional hearing test is a painless and comfortable way to determine a lot about your hearing and your health, so why are you waiting to schedule your appointment?