Hearing tests provide 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 evaluation?
A Hearing Exam, What is it?
Out of the many kinds of hearing exams, putting on headphones and listening to a series of sounds is the basic evaluation. The hearing professional will play these sounds at different volumes and pitches to determine whether you have hearing loss, and if so the depth of the loss.
Another common hearing exam involves listening to words in one ear and repeating them back to make certain you are able to interpret sounds correctly. To see what kind of sounds affect your ability to hear, background noise is sometimes added to this test. To be able to get an accurate measurement for each side, tests are done on each ear separately.
What is The Meaning of Hearing Test Results?
Ultimately, a typical hearing test pinpoints whether a person has hearing loss and how bad it is. Normal hearing in adults with minor loss of hearing is 25 decibels or less. Using this test expert can figure out if the hearing loss is:
- 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 measure the viability of structures of the middle ear such as the eardrum, how clearly 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 test such as:
- And, Otosclerosis, which if caught early enough, has the possibility of being reversed.
- Diabetes. It’s thought that high levels of sugar in the blood can injure blood vessels like the one that goes to the inner ear.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. Hearing loss is 300% percent more likely in people with RA..
- Heart and circulation issues. The inner ear has one blood vessel, and that makes it more sensitive to fluctuations in blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Meniere’s disease and other problems with dizziness and vertigo.
- Paget’s disease, which can cause severe headaches and pain in the joints and bones.
The hearing expert will take all the insight revealed by hearing tests and use it to figure out if you are suffering from:
- Unusual bone growths
- Damage from exposure to ototoxic chemicals or medications, loud noises
- Age related hearing loss
- Damage from chronic disease or infections
- A different medical issue causing the hearing loss like high blood pressure
- Damage from trauma
Once you understand why you have loss of hearing, you can look for ways to manage it and to protect your overall health.
The hearing expert will also look at the results of the exam to identify risk factors caused by your hearing loss and come up with a preemptive strategy to lessen those risks.
If You Ignore Hearing Loss, What Are The Risks?
Medical science is beginning to comprehend how hearing loss impacts a person’s health and quality of life. Researchers from Johns Hopkins monitored 636 individuals over 12 years. They found that people with hearing loss have a greater risk of dementia. The risk gets higher with more significant hearing loss.
According to this study, a person with mild hearing loss has double the risk of dementia. Three times the risk comes with moderate hearing loss and five times the risk with severe loss of hearing.
Also, social decline is evident in people with loss of hearing. People who have difficulty hearing discussions will avoid having them. Less time with friends and family and more time alone can be the result.
A recent bout of exhaustion might also be explained by a hearing test. The brain works to interpret sound, so you can understand what you hear. It has to work harder to perceive and interpret sound when there is loss of hearing. Your left always feeling tired because your other senses are robbed of energy.
Finally, the National Council on Aging states there is a clear correlation between loss of hearing and depression, 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 the first step for correct treatment is a hearing test.
A pain free way to find out about your hearing and your health is a professional hearing test so schedule your appointment today.