Hearing tests provide important insights into your health. Hearing tests can sometimes detect other health problems because the ears are so sensitive. What will a hearing exam tell you about your health.
What is a Hearing Test?
Out of the various kinds of hearing tests, putting on earphones and listening to a series of tones is the basic examination. The hearing specialist will play these tones at different volumes and pitches to determine whether you have hearing loss, and if so the severity of the loss.
In order to make sure you hear sounds correctly, another hearing test plays words in one ear and you will repeat them back. To see what kind of sounds affect your hearing, background noise is often added to this test. In order to get a proper measurement for each side, tests are done on each ear separately.
What is The Meaning of Hearing Test Results?
Whether somebody has loss of hearing, and the extent of it, is what the standard hearing test identifies. Adults who have minor hearing loss, 25 decibels or less, are considered to have normal hearing. From there, hearing specialists gauge hearing loss as:
- Moderate to severe
The decibel level of the hearing loss defines the level of impairment.
Do Hearing Tests Evaluate Anything Else?
There are also test which can determine the viability of structures of the middle ear such as the eardrum, how well someone hears with background noise, the threshold of air and bone conduction, and the type of hearing loss.
Other health problems can also be revealed by a hearing examination such as:
- Rheumatoid arthritis. Hearing loss is 300% percent more likely in people with RA..
- Paget’s disease, which can cause severe headaches and pain in the joints and bones.
- Otosclerosis, which if diagnosed early can possibly be reversed.
- Meniere’s disease and other problems with dizziness and vertigo.
- Heart and circulation issues. The inner ear has one blood vessel, and that makes it more sensitive to changes in blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Diabetes. It’s thought that too much sugar in the blood can damage blood vessels including the one that feeds the inner ear.
The information from the hearing exam can be used by the expert to figure out if you have the following:
- Damage caused by exposure to loud noises, ototoxic chemicals or medications
- A different medical problem like high blood pressure causing hearing loss
- Hearing loss associated with aging
- Damage from chronic infections or disease
- Unusual bone growths
- Injury from trauma
You can try to find ways to safeguard your health and manage your loss of hearing once you recognize why you have it.
The hearing expert will also look at the results of the examination to determine risk factors caused by your hearing loss and come up with a preemptive plan to minimize those risks.
What Are The Risks of Ignoring Hearing Loss?
Medical science is beginning to comprehend how hearing loss affects a person’s health and quality of life. Researchers from Johns Hopkins kept track of 636 individuals over 12 years. They found that people with loss of hearing have an increased risk of dementia. The risk gets higher with more substantial hearing loss.
Based on to this study, a person with mild loss of hearing has twice the risk of dementia. A moderate loss means three times the risk, and severe hearing impairment raises the risk by five.
There is evidence of social decline with loss of hearing, as well. People will avoid conversations if they have trouble following them. Less time with friends and family and more alone time can be the outcome.
A hearing test could explain a recent bout of exhaustion, as well. In order to comprehend what you hear, the brain has to do work. When there is loss of hearing, it will have to work harder to detect sound and translate it. Your left feeling tired all the time because your other senses are robbed of energy.
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 get rid of or minimize these risks, and a hearing test is the initial step for proper treatment.
A professional hearing test is a painless and safe way to determine a lot about your hearing and your health, so why are you waiting to schedule your appointment?