Invaluable insight into your state of health is provided by a hearing test. Because ears are so sensitive, hearing tests can potentially identify early signs of other health issues. What will a hearing exam tell you about your health.
What is a Hearing Test?
There are various types of hearing tests, but the basic examination involves putting on headphones 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 various pitches and volumes.
Another common hearing test involves listening to words in one ear and repeating them back to make certain you were capable of interpreting sounds correctly. Sometimes, this test is deliberately done with background sound to find out whether that affects your hearing. In order to get a proper measurement for each side, tests are done on each ear separately.
What do Hearing Test Results Indicate?
Ultimately, a typical hearing test determines whether someone has hearing loss and the extent of it. Normal hearing in adults with minor hearing loss 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 identifies the degree of damage.
What Else do Hearing Tests Measure?
There are also test which can evaluate 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.
Other health problems can also be revealed by a hearing test such as:
- Diabetes. It’s believed that high levels of sugar in the blood can injure blood vessels including the one that goes to the inner ear.
- Heart and circulation issues. The inner ear has one blood vessel, which makes it more susceptible to alterations in blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Paget’s disease, which can cause severe headaches and pain in the joints and bones.
- Meniere’s disease and other issues with dizziness and vertigo.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. Hearing loss is 300% percent more likely in people with RA..
- And, Otosclerosis, which if caught early enough, has the possibility of being reversed.
The hearing expert will take all the insight uncovered by hearing tests and use it to figure out whether you have:
- Age related hearing loss
- Damage from trauma
- Irregular bone growths
- Another medical problem like high blood pressure causing hearing loss
- Damage from chronic disease or infections
- Damage caused by exposure to ototoxic chemicals or medications, loud noises
Once you discover 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 look at the results of the examination to determine risk factors caused by your hearing loss and come up with a preemptive plan to lower those risks.
If You Ignore Hearing Loss, What Are The Risks?
Medical science is beginning to realize how hearing loss impacts a person’s health and quality of life. Researchers from Johns Hopkins examined 636 individuals over 12 years. They found that a greater risk of dementia comes with loss of hearing. The risk gets higher with more significant hearing loss.
Double 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.
Also, social decline is apparent in people with loss of hearing. People who have trouble following discussions will avoid engaging in them. Less time with family and friends and more alone time can be the result.
A recent bout of fatigue could also be explained by a hearing test. In order to comprehend what you hear, the brain needs to do work. It needs to work harder to detect and translate sound when there is loss of hearing. 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, when left untreated, age related loss of hearing.
Treating hearing loss, with hearing aids or other hearing technology, can eliminate or mitigate these risks, and a hearing test is the initial step for proper treatment.
An expert hearing test is a painless and comfortable way to learn a lot about your hearing and your health, so why are you waiting to schedule your appointment?