Important information about your state of health is offered by a hearing test. Hearing tests can sometimes uncover other health problems because the ears are so sensitive. What will a hearing examination tell you about your health.
A Hearing Test, What is it?
There are different types of hearing tests, but the common exam involves putting on headphones and listening to a series of tones. The hearing specialist will play these tones at different volumes and pitch levels to determine if 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. Sometimes, this test is purposely done with background noise to find out whether that affects your hearing. In order to get an accurate measurement for each side, tests are performed on each ear separately.
What is The Significance of Hearing Test Results?
Ultimately, a common hearing test identifies whether a person has hearing loss and the extent of it. Normal hearing in adults with minor loss of hearing is 25 decibels or less. At this point, hearing experts gauge hearing loss as:
- Moderate to severe
The degree of damage is based on the decibel level of the hearing loss.
Do Hearing Tests Evaluate Anything Else?
Other hearing tests can determine the thresholds of air and bone conduction, viability of the structures in the middle ear such as the eardrum, type of hearing loss, and a person’s ability to hear clearly when background noise is present.
Other health problems can also be revealed by a hearing test like:
- Dizziness, vertigo, and other issues associated with Meniere’s disease.
- Heart and circulation issues. The inner ear has one blood vessel, and that makes it more sensitive to changes 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.
- Otosclerosis, which if diagnosed early can possibly be reversed.
- Paget’s disease, which can cause extreme headaches and pain in the joints and bones.
- Diabetes. It’s thought that high levels of sugar in the blood can damage blood vessels like the one that feeds the inner ear.
The hearing expert will take all the insight revealed by hearing tests and use it to figure out if you are suffering from:
- Damage from trauma
- Age related hearing loss
- Injury from chronic disease or infections
- Injury from exposure to ototoxic chemicals or medications, loud noises
- Unnatural bone growths
- A different medical issue like high blood pressure causing hearing loss
Once you recognize why you have hearing loss, you can look for ways to manage it and to protect your general health.
A preemptive strategy to lower the risks caused by loss of hearing will be put together by the expert after evaluating the results of the test.
If You Ignore Hearing Loss, What Are The Risk Factors?
Medical science is beginning to recognize how quality of life and health are affected by loss of hearing. Researchers from Johns Hopkins kept track of 636 individuals over 12 years. They found that those with hearing loss have a greater risk of dementia. The risk increases with more substantial hearing loss.
Double the risk of dementia comes with moderate hearing loss, based on this study. A moderate loss means three times the risk, and severe hearing impairment raises the risk by five.
There is evidence of social decline with loss of hearing, as well. People who have difficulty following conversations will avoid having them. That can lead to more time alone and less time with family and friends.
A recent bout of exhaustion could also be explained by a hearing test. 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 interpret 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, especially, when left untreated, age related loss of hearing.
Treating hearing loss, with hearing aids or other hearing technology, can get rid of or minimize these risks, and a hearing test is the first step for correct treatment.
An expert hearing test is a painless and safe way to learn a lot about your hearing and your health, so why are you waiting to schedule your appointment?