Hearing tests supply important information about your health. Hearing tests can potentially uncover other health problems because the ears are so sensitive. What will you discover from a hearing assessment?
What is a Hearing Test?
Out of the many varieties of hearing tests, putting on headphones and listening to a series of tones is the basic exam. In order to discover the depth of your hearing loss, the hearing professional will play the tones at different volumes and pitches.
Another common hearing exam involves listening to words in one ear and repeating them back to make sure you are able to interpret sounds accurately. Sometimes, this test is purposely done with background noise to see whether that affects your ability to hear. Tests are usually done in each ear separately to get a proper measurement for each side.
What is The Meaning of Hearing Test Results?
Whether a person has hearing loss, and the extent of it, is what the standard hearing test determines. Adults with minor hearing loss, 25 decibels or less, are considered to have normal hearing. Using this test expert can figure out if the hearing loss is:
- Moderate to severe
The level of damage is based on the decibel level of the hearing loss.
Do Hearing Tests Determine Anything Else?
Other hearing tests can determine 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.
Other health concerns can also be revealed by a hearing exam such as:
- Diabetes. It’s believed that too much sugar in the blood can harm blood vessels including the one that goes to the inner ear.
- And, Otosclerosis, which if caught early enough, has the possibility of being reversed.
- Dizziness, vertigo, and other problems related to Meniere’s disease.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. Research reveals that people with RA are as much as 300 percent more likely to have hearing loss.
- Paget’s disease, which can cause severe headaches and pain in the joints and bones.
- Heart and circulation issues. The inner ear has one blood vessel, which makes it more sensitive to alterations in blood pressure and cholesterol.
The hearing specialist will take all the information uncovered by hearing exams and use it to determine if you are suffering from:
- Damage from exposure to ototoxic chemicals or medications, loud noises
- Another medical issue causing the hearing loss like high blood pressure
- Damage from trauma
- Hearing loss associated with aging
- Unnatural bone growths
- Injury from chronic infections or disease
Once you discover why you have hearing loss, you can try to find ways to deal with it and to take care of your general health.
A preemptive plan to minimize the risks caused by hearing loss will be formulated by the expert after examining the results of the test.
What Are The Risk Factors of Ignoring Hearing Loss?
Medical science is beginning to understand 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 loss of hearing have a greater risk of dementia. The more substantial the hearing loss, the greater the risk.
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 hearing loss, as well. People who have trouble following discussions will avoid engaging in them. That can lead to more time alone and less time with friends and family.
A hearing test could explain a recent bout of exhaustion, as well. 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 perceive sound and translate it. That robs your other senses of energy and leaves you feeling tired all the time.
Finally, the National Council on Aging states there is a clear correlation between depression and loss of hearing, particularly, when left untreated, age related loss of hearing.
Treating hearing loss, with hearing aids or other hearing technology, can eliminate or mitigate these risks, and a hearing test is step one for correct treatment.
A painless way to learn about your hearing and your health is an expert hearing test so schedule your appointment today.