Invaluable insight into your state of health is provided by a hearing test. Hearing tests can sometimes uncover other health problems because the ears are so sensitive. What will you learn from a hearing test?
A Hearing Exam, What is it?
There are various types of hearing tests, but the basic exam involves putting on earphones and listening to a series of sounds. In order to discover the depth of your hearing loss, the hearing expert will play the tones at different pitches and volumes.
In order to make sure you hear sounds correctly, another hearing test plays words in one ear and you will repeat them back. To find out what kind of sounds affect your hearing, background noise is often added to this test. Tests are commonly done in each ear separately to get a proper measurement for each side.
What do Hearing Test Results Indicate?
Whether someone has hearing loss, and the extent of it, is what the normal hearing test identifies. Normal hearing in adults with minor loss of hearing is 25 decibels or less. Using this test expert can figure out if the loss of hearing is:
- Moderate to severe
The decibel level of the hearing loss defines the degree of damage.
Do Hearing Tests Determine Anything Else?
There are also test that can determine the viability of structures of the middle ear like 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 uncover other health issues such as:
- And, Otosclerosis, which if caught early enough, has the possibility of being reversed.
- Severe headaches and pain in the joints triggered by Paget’s disease.
- Diabetes. Injured blood vessels, like the ones in the inner ear, can theoretically be injured 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 alterations in blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. Studies show that people with RA are as much as 300 percent more likely to have hearing loss.
- Dizziness, vertigo, and other issues related to Meniere’s disease.
The hearing specialist will take all the information revealed by hearing exams and use it to determine if you have:
- Damage from chronic disease or infections
- Injury from trauma
- Unusual bone growths
- Hearing loss associated with aging
- Damage caused by exposure to loud noises, ototoxic chemicals or medications
- Another medical problem like high blood pressure causing hearing loss
Once you understand why you have loss of hearing, you can try to find ways to manage it and to protect your overall health.
A preemptive strategy to reduce the risks caused by loss of hearing will be formulated by the specialist after evaluating the results of the test.
If You Ignore Hearing Loss, What Are The Risks?
Medical science is starting to understand how quality of life and health are impacted by hearing loss. Researchers from Johns Hopkins examined 636 individuals over 12 years. They found that those with hearing loss have a greater risk of dementia. The risk increases with more substantial hearing loss.
According to this study, somebody with mild loss of hearing has double the risk of dementia. Three times the risk comes with moderate hearing loss and five times the risk with severe hearing loss.
Also, social decline is evident in those with loss of hearing. People who have trouble following discussions will avoid engaging in them. That can lead to more time alone and less time with friends and family.
A recent bout of fatigue could also be explained by a hearing test. The brain works to translate sound, so you can understand what you hear. It needs to work harder to perceive and translate sound when there is loss of hearing. 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 hearing loss and depression, particularly age-related hearing loss when it is left untreated.
Treating hearing loss, with hearing aids or other hearing technology, can mitigate or even eliminate these risks, and a hearing test is step one for correct treatment.
A painless way to learn about your hearing and your health is a professional hearing test so schedule your appointment today.