Hearing tests offer important information about your health. Hearing tests can potentially uncover other health concerns because the ears are so sensitive. What will a hearing exam tell you about your health.
A Hearing Test, What is it?
Out of the various varieties of hearing tests, putting on earphones and listening to a series of tones is the standard assessment. In order to discover the depth of your hearing loss, the hearing specialist will play the tones at different volumes and pitches.
Another typical hearing exam includes listening to words in one ear and repeating them back to make sure you were capable of interpreting sounds accurately. In some cases, this test is purposely done with background noise to see whether that affects your hearing. Tests are often done in each ear individually to get a proper measurement for each side.
What do Hearing Test Results Indicate?
Ultimately, a common hearing test determines whether a person 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 expert can find out if the loss of hearing is:
- Moderate to severe
The decibel level of the hearing loss identifies the level of impairment.
Do Hearing Tests Evaluate 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.
Other health issues can also be revealed by a hearing test like:
- Rheumatoid arthritis. Hearing loss is 300% percent more likely in people with RA..
- Diabetes. Damaged blood vessels, including the ones in the inner ear, can theoretically be harmed by high levels of sugar in the blood.
- Meniere’s disease and other issues with dizziness and vertigo.
- Heart and circulation problems. The inner ear has one blood vessel, and that makes it more susceptible to changes in blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Severe headaches and pain in the joints caused by Paget’s disease.
- Otosclerosis, which if caught early can sometimes be reversed.
The information from the hearing test can be used by the expert to figure out if you have the following:
- Another medical issue like high blood pressure causing hearing loss
- Age related hearing loss
- Abnormal bone growths
- Damage from trauma
- Injury from chronic disease or infections
- Damage caused by exposure to ototoxic chemicals or medications, loud noises
Once you understand why you have hearing loss, you can try to find ways to manage it and to take care of your overall health.
The hearing expert will also examine the results of the examination to determine risk factors caused by your loss of hearing and come up with a preemptive plan to decrease those risks.
If You Ignore Hearing Loss, What Are The Risk Factors?
Medical science is beginning to recognize how quality of life and health are impacted by hearing loss. 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 greater the risk.
Double the risk of dementia comes with moderate loss of hearing, according to this study. Three times the risk comes with moderate loss of hearing and five times the risk with severe loss of hearing.
There is evidence of social decline with loss of hearing, as well. People will stay away from conversations if they have trouble following them. That can lead to more alone time and less time with family and friends.
A recent bout of exhaustion could also be explained by a hearing test. The brain works to translate sound, so you can comprehend what you hear. When there is hearing loss, it will have to work harder to pick up on sound and interpret 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 mitigate or even eliminate these risks, and a hearing test is step one for proper treatment.
An expert hearing test is a pain-free and safe way to determine a lot about your hearing and your health, so why are you waiting to schedule your appointment?