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Do you think a hearing test is only necessary if there is a problem with your ears? Perhaps possible a family complains when you turn the sound up too high on the television or you’ve noticed that conversations seem mumbled more lately. Those are both practical reasons to schedule an appointment with a hearing professional.

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders claims around 15 percent of the adult population in this country has a similar problem, more so as they age. In fact, it may be that you have some hearing loss and getting the test done will provide an answer. What you might not realize, though, is getting screened hearing loss is a lifesaver because that change in your hearing might indicate something much bigger is affecting your health. Consider four ways getting a hearing test could save your life.

Is There a Link Between Hearing Loss and Dementia

There is a connection between these two problems recently discovered by scientists. The World Health Association (WHO) estimates that by 2050, there may be over 100 million individuals globally suffering from some form of dementia. At the root of this increase may be age-related hearing loss.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions discovered that people with mild hearing loss, around a 25 decimal decline, increase their risk of developing Alzheimer’s. For every 10 decibels that your hearing drops, the risk increases by 20 percent. The reasoning is complex, but, essentially, the struggle to hear constantly takes a toll on the brain. A hearing test can predict your risk level and help create a solution like a hearing aid to reduce the stress and lower your risk.

What About the Link Between Heart Disease and Hearing Loss

Getting a regular hearing exam might save you from a heart attack or even death. Hearing loss is often a symptom of heart disease. The inner ear has a very sensitive network of blood vessels. Even the tiniest change in blood flow, like a poorly functioning major artery, can show up first as hearing loss. If the hearing test indicates a slight decrease, but there doesn’t appear to be any problem with the mechanisms of your ears, the next place to look at blood flow.

Skin Cancer Finds

A hearing test is an evaluation that goes beyond just the audiometer screening, too. A medical professional will do a physical exam of your ears, too. This location is a difficult to see and where a suspect mole can be easily missed. During the exam of your ears, the physician will look at the skin for signs of lesions or potential cancer growth.

Hearing Loss and Stress

The old saying you don’t miss something until it’s gone if very true when it comes to hearing. Even minor hearing loss can bring with it stress and depression. You may not know why you’re struggling to keep up or perhaps you think bad hearing is just part of getting older. You may be afraid of what a hearing test will tell you, too. What if you are going deaf and there is nothing you can do about it? That fear is unwarranted for most. Hearing loss is usually treatable medically or by using a hearing assistance device. Either way, you have more to lose than gain by avoiding this simple test. You are making a choice when you decide to live with your hearing loss instead of getting tested and treated. Now you know it’s a decision that can really cost you.