Hearing tests offer invaluable insights into your health. Hearing tests can sometimes uncover other health concerns because the ears are so sensitive. What will you discover from a hearing assessment?
A Hearing Test, What is it?
There are a variety of kinds of hearing tests, but the standard examination involves putting on headphones and listening to a series of sounds. The hearing specialist will play these sounds at various volumes and pitch levels to figure out if you have hearing loss, and if so the severity of the loss.
Another common hearing test involves listening to words in one ear and repeating them back to make certain you are capable of interpreting sounds accurately. In some cases, this test is intentionally done with background noise to see whether that affects your ability to hear. In order to get an accurate measurement for each side, tests are performed on each ear separately.
What do Hearing Test Results Mean?
Ultimately, an ordinary 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. Using this test specialist can figure out if the loss of hearing is:
- Moderate to severe
The decibel level of the hearing loss defines the amount of impairment.
Do Hearing Tests Evaluate Anything Else?
Other hearing tests can measure 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 distinctly when there is background noise.
Other health concerns can also be revealed by a hearing exam such as:
- Heart and circulation issues. The inner ear has one blood vessel, which makes it more susceptible to changes in blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. Hearing loss is 300% percent more likely in people with RA..
- And, Otosclerosis, which if diagnosed early enough, has the possibility of being reversed.
- Extreme headaches and pain in the joints triggered by Paget’s disease.
- Diabetes. Injured blood vessels, including the ones in the inner ear, can theoretically be harmed by too much sugar in the blood.
- Meniere’s disease and other problems with dizziness and vertigo.
The information from the hearing exam can be used by the specialist to figure out if you have the following:
- Injury from chronic disease or infections
- Unusual bone growths
- Injury from exposure to loud noises, ototoxic chemicals or medications
- Damage from trauma
- A different medical problem causing the hearing loss like high blood pressure
- Age related hearing loss
When you discover why you have hearing loss, you can try to find ways to manage it and to take care of your overall health.
A preemptive strategy to lessen the risks caused by loss of hearing will be formulated 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 understand how quality of life and health are affected by loss of hearing. Researchers from Johns Hopkins examined 636 individuals over 12 years. They found that an increased risk of dementia comes with hearing loss. 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 hearing loss and five times the risk with severe loss of hearing.
There is evidence of social decline with hearing loss, as well. People will stay away from discussions if they have trouble following them. That can lead to more alone time and less time with family and friends.
A hearing test might clarify a recent bout of exhaustion, as well. In order to understand what you hear, the brain has to do work. It needs to work harder to perceive and translate sound when there is loss of hearing. 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 get rid of or mitigate these risks, and a hearing test is the initial step for proper treatment.
A professional hearing test is a pain-free and safe way to learn a lot about your hearing and your health, so why are you waiting to schedule your appointment?