Invaluable information about your state of health is offered by a hearing test. Hearing tests can sometimes detect other health issues because the ears are so sensitive. What will a hearing assessment tell you about your health.
A Hearing Exam, What is it?
There are a variety of types of hearing tests, but the standard evaluation 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 pitches and volumes.
So that you can make sure you hear sounds correctly, another hearing test plays words in one ear and you will repeat them back. Sometimes, this test is intentionally done with background noise to see whether that affects your ability to hear. To be able to get an accurate measurement for each side, tests are performed on each ear separately.
What is The Significance of Hearing Test Results?
Whether somebody has loss of hearing, and the extent of it, is what the standard hearing test determines. Normal hearing in adults with minor loss of hearing is 25 decibels or less. At this point, hearing specialists gauge hearing loss as:
- Moderate to severe
The decibel level of the hearing loss defines the degree of damage.
What Else do Hearing Tests Determine?
There are also test which can measure the viability of structures of the middle ear like the eardrum, how clearly a person hears with background noise, the threshold of air and bone conduction, and the type of hearing loss.
But hearing assessments can also uncover other health problems like:
- Dizziness, vertigo, and other problems related to Meniere’s disease.
- Extreme headaches and pain in the joints caused by Paget’s disease.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. Studies show that people with RA are as much as 300 percent more likely to have hearing loss.
- Heart and circulation problems. The inner ear has one blood vessel, and that makes it more susceptible to changes in blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Diabetes. Injured blood vessels, including the ones in the inner ear, can theoretically be harmed by high levels of sugar in the blood.
- Otosclerosis, which if caught early can possibly be reversed.
The insight from the hearing test can be used by the expert to figure out if you suffer from the following:
- Injury from trauma
- Another medical issue like high blood pressure causing hearing loss
- Injury from chronic infections or disease
- Injury from exposure to ototoxic chemicals or medications, loud noises
- Age related hearing loss
- Unnatural bone growths
Once you recognize why you have hearing loss, you can try to find ways to manage it and to take care of your general health.
A preemptive plan to decrease the risks caused by hearing loss will be put together by the expert after examining the results of the test.
What Are The Risks of Ignoring Hearing Loss?
Medical science is starting to understand 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 more substantial the hearing loss, the higher the risk.
Twice the risk of dementia comes with moderate hearing loss, according to this study. Three times the risk comes with moderate loss of hearing and five times the risk with severe hearing loss.
There is evidence of social decline with loss of hearing, as well. People who have trouble following discussions will avoid having them. Less time with friends and family and more alone time can be the result.
A hearing test might explain a recent bout of exhaustion, as well. In order to understand what you hear, the brain has 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 leaves you feeling tired all the time.
Finally, the National Council on Aging states there is a clear correlation between loss of hearing and depression, particularly age-related hearing loss when it is left untreated.
Treating hearing loss, with hearing aids or other hearing technology, can minimize or even get rid of these risks, and the first step for proper treatment is a hearing test.
A pain free way to learn about your hearing and your health is a professional hearing test so schedule your appointment today.