Hearing tests provide invaluable information about your health. Because ears are so sensitive, hearing tests can potentially identify early signs of other health problems. What will a hearing examination tell you about your health.
What is a Hearing Test?
There are a variety of kinds of hearing tests, but the common exam involves putting on earphones and listening to a series of sounds. The hearing professional will play these sounds at various volumes and pitch levels to determine whether you have hearing loss, and if so the severity of the loss.
So that you can make sure you hear sounds correctly, another hearing test will play words in one ear and you will repeat them back. In some cases, this test is purposely done with background sound to find out whether that affects your hearing. Tests are often done in each ear individually to get a proper measurement for each side.
What is The Significance of Hearing Test Results?
Ultimately, a common hearing test determines whether somebody has hearing loss and the extent of it. Normal hearing in adults with minor loss of hearing is 25 decibels or less. Using this test expert can figure out if the hearing loss is:
- Moderate to severe
The degree of damage is based on the decibel level of the hearing loss.
Do Hearing Tests Measure Anything Else?
Other hearing tests can evaluate the thresholds of air and bone conduction, viability of the structures in the middle ear like the eardrum, type of hearing loss, and a person’s ability to hear clearly when there is background noise.
But hearing examinations can also reveal other health concerns like:
- Meniere’s disease and other issues with dizziness and vertigo.
- Paget’s disease, which can cause severe headaches and pain in the joints and bones.
- Diabetes. Injured blood vessels, like the ones in the inner ear, can theoretically be damaged by too much sugar in the blood.
- Otosclerosis, which if diagnosed early can possibly be reversed.
- Heart and circulation issues. The inner ear has one blood vessel, and that makes it more sensitive to fluctuations 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.
The hearing specialist will take all the information revealed by hearing tests and use it to figure out if you are suffering from:
- Irregular bone growths
- Damage from trauma
- Damage from exposure to loud noises, ototoxic chemicals or medications
- Injury from chronic infections or disease
- A different medical issue causing the hearing loss like high blood pressure
- Hearing loss associated with aging
You can look for ways to protect your health and take care of your hearing loss once you recognize why you have it.
A preemptive strategy to minimize the risks caused by loss of hearing will be put together by the specialist after evaluating the results of the test.
What Are The Risks of Ignoring Hearing Loss?
Medical science is starting to comprehend how hearing loss impacts a person’s health and quality of life. Researchers from Johns Hopkins kept track of 636 individuals over 12 years. They found that people with hearing loss have an increased risk of dementia. The more substantial the hearing loss, the greater the risk.
According to this study, a person with mild loss of hearing has twice the risk of dementia. Three times the risk comes with moderate loss of hearing and five times the risk with severe hearing loss.
Also, social decline is apparent in those with hearing loss. People will avoid conversations if they have difficulty following them. Less time with friends and family and more time alone can be the outcome.
A hearing test might explain a recent bout of fatigue, also. In order to understand what you hear, the brain needs to do work. It needs to work harder to perceive and interpret sound when there is loss of hearing. Your left always feeling tired because your other senses are robbed of energy.
Finally, the National Council on Aging states there is a clear correlation between loss of hearing and depression, specifically age-related hearing loss when it is left untreated.
Treating hearing loss, with hearing aids or other hearing technology, can mitigate or even get rid of these risks, and a hearing test is step one for correct treatment.
A pain free way to learn about your hearing and your health is an expert hearing test so schedule your appointment today.