Hearing tests supply invaluable insights into your health. Because ears are so sensitive, hearing tests can potentially identify early signs of other health issues. What will you learn from a hearing test?
A Hearing Test, What is it?
There are various kinds of hearing tests, but the basic evaluation involves putting on headphones and listening to a series of sounds. In order to detect the depth of your hearing loss, the hearing professional will play the tones at various pitches and volumes.
Another typical hearing exam consists of listening to words in one ear and repeating them back to make certain you were capable of interpreting sounds accurately. To find out what type of sounds influence your ability to hear, background noise is sometimes added to this test. Tests are often done in each ear individually to get a proper measurement for each side.
What do Hearing Test Results Mean?
Ultimately, an ordinary hearing test pinpoints whether somebody has hearing loss and the extent of it. Adults who have minor hearing loss, 25 decibels or less, are considered to have normal hearing. From there, hearing professionals gauge hearing loss as:
- Moderate to severe
The level of impairment is based on the decibel level of the hearing loss.
Do Hearing Tests Measure Anything Else?
Other hearing tests can evaluate the thresholds of air and bone conduction, viability of the structures in the middle ear such as the eardrum, kind of hearing loss, and a person’s ability to hear clearly when background noise is present.
But hearing tests can also reveal other health concerns like:
- Diabetes. Damaged blood vessels, like the ones in the inner ear, can theoretically be harmed by high levels of sugar in the blood.
- Otosclerosis, which if caught early can sometimes be reversed.
- Dizziness, vertigo, and other issues related to Meniere’s disease.
- 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 changes in blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Paget’s disease, which can cause extreme headaches and pain in the joints and bones.
The information from the hearing test can be used by the specialist to determine if you suffer from the following:
- Injury from trauma
- Damage from chronic disease or infections
- Hearing loss associated with aging
- Unusual bone growths
- Another medical problem like high blood pressure causing hearing loss
- Injury from exposure to loud noises, ototoxic chemicals or medications
You can try to find ways to protect your health and manage your hearing loss once you recognize why you have it.
A preemptive plan to lessen the risks caused by loss of hearing will be put together by the expert after looking at the results of the test.
If You Ignore Hearing Loss, What Are The Risk Factors?
Medical science is beginning to understand how hearing loss affects a person’s health and quality of life. Researchers from Johns Hopkins examined 636 individuals over 12 years. They found that an increased risk of dementia comes with hearing loss. The more significant the hearing loss, the greater the risk.
Two times the risk of dementia comes with moderate hearing loss, based on this study. Three times the risk comes with moderate loss of hearing and five times the risk with severe hearing loss.
Also, social decline is apparent in people with loss of hearing. People who have trouble following discussions will avoid having them. That can lead to more alone time and less time with friends and family.
A hearing test might explain a recent bout of exhaustion, also. In order to understand what you hear, the brain needs to do work. It has to work harder to perceive and translate sound when there is hearing loss. 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 hearing loss and depression, specifically, when left untreated, age related hearing loss.
Treating hearing loss, with hearing aids or other hearing technology, can eliminate or decrease these risks, and the first 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?