Invaluable information about your state of health is provided by a hearing test. Because ears are so sensitive, hearing tests can sometimes identify early signs of other health issues. What will a hearing assessment tell you about your health.
A Hearing Test, What is it?
Out of the various types of hearing exams, putting on headphones and listening to a series of sounds is the basic evaluation. The hearing professional will play these sounds at different volumes and pitch levels to figure out if you have hearing loss, and if so the severity of the loss.
Another common hearing test consists of listening to words in one ear and repeating them back to make sure you were able to interpret sounds correctly. To find out what type of sounds affect your ability to hear, background noise is often added to this test. Tests are usually done in each ear separately to get a proper measurement for each side.
What do Hearing Test Results Indicate?
Ultimately, a standard hearing test identifies whether someone has hearing loss and the extent of it. Adults who have minor hearing loss, 25 decibels or less, are considered to have normal hearing. Using this test specialist can determine if the loss of hearing is:
- Moderate to severe
The decibel level of the hearing loss identifies the level of impairment.
What Else do Hearing Tests Evaluate?
There are also test which can evaluate the viability of structures of the middle ear such as the eardrum, how clearly someone hears with background noise, the threshold of air and bone conduction, and the kind of hearing loss.
But hearing tests can also expose other health problems including:
- Severe headaches and pain in the joints triggered by Paget’s disease.
- Otosclerosis, which if caught early can possibly be reversed.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. Research reveals that people with RA are as much as 300 percent more likely to have hearing loss.
- Dizziness, vertigo, and other challenges associated with Meniere’s disease.
- Diabetes. Damaged blood vessels, including the ones in the inner ear, can theoretically be damaged by high levels of sugar in the blood.
- Heart and circulation issues. The inner ear has one blood vessel, which makes it more sensitive to fluctuations in blood pressure and cholesterol.
The hearing specialist will take all the insight uncovered by hearing exams and use it to determine if you are suffering from:
- A different medical issue like high blood pressure causing hearing loss
- Unusual bone growths
- Damage from exposure to loud noises, ototoxic chemicals or medications
- Injury from trauma
- Age related hearing loss
- Damage from chronic disease or infections
You can try to find ways to safeguard your health and take care of your hearing loss once you discover why you have it.
A preemptive plan to minimize the risks caused by hearing loss will be put together by the specialist after evaluating the results of the test.
What Are The Risks of Neglecting Hearing Loss?
Medical science is starting to realize how hearing loss impacts a person’s health and quality of life. Researchers from Johns Hopkins kept track of 636 individuals over 12 years. They found that a greater risk of dementia comes with hearing loss. The more significant the hearing loss, the greater the risk.
Twice 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.
Also, social decline is apparent in people with hearing loss. People who have difficulty hearing discussions will avoid having them. That can lead to more alone time and less time with friends and family.
A hearing test may explain a recent bout of exhaustion, too. In order to understand what you hear, the brain has to do work. When there is loss of hearing, it will have to work harder to pick up on sound and translate it. 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 loss of hearing, particularly age-related hearing loss when it is left untreated.
Treating hearing loss, with hearing aids or other hearing technology, can eliminate or minimize these risks, and a hearing test is step one for correct treatment.
A painless way to learn about your hearing and your health is an expert hearing test so schedule your appointment today.