Important information about your state of health is offered by a hearing test. Hearing tests can potentially detect other health concerns because the ears are so sensitive. What will you learn from a hearing test?
A Hearing Test, What is it?
Out of the many types of hearing exams, 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 various pitches and volumes.
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 intentionally done with background noise to see whether that affects your hearing. Tests are commonly done in each ear separately to get a proper measurement for each side.
What is The Meaning of Hearing Test Results?
Ultimately, an ordinary hearing test pinpoints whether a person has hearing loss and the extent of it. Normal hearing in adults with minor hearing loss is 25 decibels or less. 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 evaluate 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 background noise is present.
But hearing tests can also uncover other health issues like:
- Heart and circulation problems. The inner ear has one blood vessel, and that makes it more sensitive to alterations in blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Paget’s disease, which can cause severe headaches and pain in the joints and bones.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. Studies show that people with RA are as much as 300 percent more likely to have hearing loss.
- Dizziness, vertigo, and other problems associated with Meniere’s disease.
- Diabetes. Injured blood vessels, like the ones in the inner ear, can theoretically be injured by too much sugar in the blood.
- Otosclerosis, which if caught early can possibly be reversed.
The hearing specialist will take all the insight uncovered by hearing tests and use it to determine if you are suffering from:
- Another medical issue like high blood pressure causing hearing loss
- Injury from trauma
- Injury from chronic disease or infections
- Age related hearing loss
- Damage caused by exposure to ototoxic chemicals or medications, loud noises
- Irregular bone growths
After you recognize why you have loss of hearing, you can try to find ways to manage it and to protect your overall health.
A preemptive plan to reduce the risks caused by hearing loss will be formulated by the expert after evaluating the results of the test.
What Are The Risk Factors of Ignoring Hearing Loss?
Medical science is beginning to recognize how quality of life and health are impacted by hearing loss. Researchers from Johns Hopkins examined 636 individuals over 12 years. They found that a greater risk of dementia comes with hearing loss. The risk increases with more significant hearing loss.
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 loss of hearing, as well. People who have trouble following discussions will avoid engaging in them. That can lead to more alone time and less time with friends and family.
A hearing test may explain a recent bout of fatigue, too. In order to understand what you hear, the brain needs to do work. When there is hearing loss, it will have to work harder to pick up on sound and translate it. That robs your other senses of energy and makes you feel tired all the time.
Finally, the National Council on Aging states there is a clear correlation between depression and hearing loss, specifically age-related hearing loss when it is left untreated.
Treating hearing loss, with hearing aids or other hearing technology, can decrease or even get rid of these risks, and a hearing test is the first step for correct treatment.
A pain free way to find out about your hearing and your health is a professional hearing test so schedule your appointment today.