Hearing tests offer invaluable information about your health. Hearing tests can potentially detect other health issues because the ears are so sensitive. What will a hearing test tell you about your health.
A Hearing Exam, What is it?
There are various types of hearing tests, but the standard examination involves putting on headphones and listening to a series of tones. In order to detect the depth of your hearing loss, the hearing expert will play the tones at different volumes and pitches.
Another common hearing exam consists of listening to words in one ear and repeating them back to make certain you are able to interpret sounds accurately. In some cases, this test is purposely done with background noise to see whether that affects your hearing. In order to get a proper measurement for each side, tests are done on each ear individually.
What do Hearing Test Results Indicate?
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. From there, hearing specialists gauge hearing loss as:
- Moderate to severe
The decibel level of the hearing loss defines the degree of damage.
Do Hearing Tests Evaluate Anything Else?
There are also test that can determine the viability of structures of the middle ear such as the eardrum, how well a person hears with background noise, the threshold of air and bone conduction, and the kind of hearing loss.
Other health issues can also be revealed by a hearing exam such as:
- Diabetes. It’s thought that too much sugar in the blood can damage blood vessels like the one that goes to the inner ear.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. Hearing loss is 300% percent more likely in people with RA..
- Heart and circulation problems. The inner ear has one blood vessel, which makes it more susceptible to fluctuations in blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Severe headaches and pain in the joints caused by Paget’s disease.
- Otosclerosis, which if caught early can sometimes be reversed.
- Meniere’s disease and other issues with dizziness and vertigo.
The insight from the hearing exam can be used by the expert to figure out if you suffer from the following:
- Damage from trauma
- Irregular bone growths
- Damage from chronic disease or infections
- Hearing loss associated with aging
- A different medical issue causing the hearing loss like high blood pressure
- Injury caused by exposure to ototoxic chemicals or medications, loud noises
You can try to find ways to protect your health and take care of your hearing loss once you recognize why you have it.
The hearing specialist will also examine the results of the test to identify risk factors caused by your loss of hearing and create a preemptive strategy to reduce those risks.
What Are The Risk Factors of Ignoring Hearing Loss?
Medical science is starting to realize how hearing loss impacts a person’s health and quality of life. Researchers from Johns Hopkins monitored 636 individuals over 12 years. They found that an increased risk of dementia comes with hearing loss. The risk gets higher with more substantial hearing loss.
According to this study, somebody with mild loss of hearing has twice the risk of dementia. Three times the risk comes with moderate loss of hearing and five times the risk with severe loss of hearing.
Also, social decline is evident in those with hearing loss. People will stay away from discussions if they have difficulty following them. Less time with family and friends and more alone time can be the result.
A hearing test might explain a recent bout of exhaustion, also. The brain works to interpret sound, so you can comprehend what you hear. It has to work harder to detect and interpret sound when there is hearing loss. Your left feeling tired all the time as your other senses are robbed of energy.
Finally, the National Council on Aging reports there is a clear correlation between loss of hearing and depression, specifically age-related hearing loss when it is left untreated.
Treating hearing loss, with hearing aids or other hearing technology, can get rid of or minimize these risks, and the initial step for proper treatment is a hearing test.
A professional hearing test is a pain-free and comfortable way to determine a lot about your hearing and your health, so why are you waiting to schedule your appointment?