Hearing tests offer invaluable insights into your health. Hearing tests can potentially uncover other health issues because the ears are so sensitive. What will you discover from a hearing exam?
A Hearing Exam, What is it?
Out of the various kinds of hearing tests, putting on earphones and listening to a series of tones is the standard evaluation. The hearing expert will play these sounds at various volumes and pitch levels to figure out whether you have hearing loss, and if so the depth of the loss.
So that you can make sure you hear sounds accurately, another hearing test plays words in one ear and you will repeat them back. In some cases, this test is purposely done with background sound to see whether that affects your ability to hear. To be able to get an accurate measurement for each side, tests are done on each ear separately.
What is The Significance 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 loss of hearing is:
- Moderate to severe
The amount of damage is based on the decibel level of the hearing loss.
What Else do Hearing Tests Measure?
Other hearing tests can evaluate the thresholds of air and bone conduction, viability of the structures in the middle ear such as the eardrum, kind of hearing loss, and a person’s ability to hear distinctly when there is background noise.
Other health problems can also be revealed by a hearing test such as:
- Otosclerosis, which if diagnosed early can possibly be reversed.
- Diabetes. Damaged blood vessels, including the ones in the inner ear, can theoretically be injured by too much sugar in the blood.
- Heart and circulation problems. The inner ear has one blood vessel, and that makes it more susceptible to fluctuations in blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Paget’s disease, which can cause extreme headaches and pain in the joints and bones.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. Research reveals that people with RA are as much as 300 percent more likely to have hearing loss.
- Meniere’s disease and other issues with dizziness and vertigo.
The hearing specialist will take all the insight uncovered by hearing tests and use it to figure out if you are suffering from:
- Damage from trauma
- A different medical issue like high blood pressure causing hearing loss
- Injury from chronic infections or disease
- Hearing loss associated with aging
- Damage caused by exposure to loud noises, ototoxic chemicals or medications
- Abnormal bone growths
You can try to find ways to protect your health and manage your hearing loss once you understand why you have it.
A preemptive plan to lessen the risks caused by hearing loss will be put together by the expert after evaluating the results of the test.
If You Ignore Hearing Loss, What Are The Risks?
Medical science is starting to comprehend how hearing loss impacts a person’s health and quality of life. Researchers from Johns Hopkins examined 636 individuals over 12 years. They found that people with hearing loss have an increased risk of dementia. The more significant the hearing loss, the higher the risk.
Double the risk of dementia comes with moderate loss of hearing, based on this study. Three times the risk comes with moderate loss of hearing and five times the risk with severe loss of hearing.
There is evidence of social decline with loss of hearing, as well. People who have trouble following conversations will avoid engaging in them. That can lead to more alone time and less time with family and friends.
A hearing test might explain a recent bout of fatigue, also. The brain works to interpret sound, so you can understand what you hear. It has to work harder to perceive and translate sound when there is hearing loss. That robs your other senses of energy and leaves you feeling tired all the time.
Finally, the National Council on Aging reports there is a clear correlation between depression and hearing loss, particularly age-related hearing loss when it is left untreated.
Treating hearing loss, with hearing aids or other hearing technology, can eliminate or decrease these risks, and a hearing test is the first step 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?