Invaluable insight into your state of health is provided by a hearing test. Because ears are so sensitive, hearing tests can potentially detect early signs of other health problems. What will a hearing exam tell you about your health.
What is a Hearing Exam?
There are different types of hearing tests, but the ordinary assessment involves putting on earphones and listening to a series of tones. In order to discover the depth of your hearing loss, the hearing expert will play the tones at different volumes and pitches.
Another typical hearing test includes listening to words in one ear and repeating them back to make sure you were able to interpret sounds correctly. To identify what kind of sounds influence your ability to hear, 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 hearing loss, and the extent of it, is what the standard hearing test determines. Normal hearing in adults with minor hearing loss is 25 decibels or less. Using this test specialist can figure out if the hearing loss is:
- Moderate to severe
The degree of impairment is based on the decibel level of the hearing loss.
What Else do Hearing Tests Measure?
There are also test which can determine the viability of structures of the middle ear like 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 test such as:
- Paget’s disease, which can cause severe headaches and pain in the joints and bones.
- 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 fluctuations in blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Dizziness, vertigo, and other issues related to Meniere’s disease.
- Otosclerosis, which if diagnosed early can sometimes be reversed.
- Diabetes. Damaged blood vessels, including the ones in the inner ear, can theoretically be injured by too much sugar in the blood.
The information from the hearing test can be used by the specialist to determine if you suffer from the following:
- Damage caused by exposure to loud noises, ototoxic chemicals or medications
- Damage from chronic infections or disease
- Hearing loss associated with aging
- Abnormal bone growths
- Another medical problem causing the hearing loss like high blood pressure
- Damage from trauma
You can look for ways to protect your health and take care of your hearing loss once you understand why you have it.
The hearing professional will also look at the results of the examination to determine risk factors caused by your loss of hearing and come up with a preemptive plan to minimize those risks.
If You Ignore Hearing Loss, What Are The Risk Factors?
Medical science is starting to understand how quality of life and health are affected by hearing loss. Researchers from Johns Hopkins kept track of 636 individuals over 12 years. They found that those with hearing loss have an increased risk of dementia. The more substantial the hearing loss, the greater the risk.
Two times the risk of dementia comes with moderate loss of hearing, based on this study. A moderate loss means three times the risk, and severe hearing impairment increases the risk by five.
Also, social decline is evident in people with loss of hearing. People who have difficulty following conversations will avoid engaging in them. Less time with friends and family and more time alone can be the result.
A recent bout of fatigue could also be explained by a hearing test. In order to understand what you hear, the brain has to do work. It has to work harder to perceive and translate 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 depression and hearing loss, especially, when left untreated, age related hearing loss.
Treating hearing loss, with hearing aids or other hearing technology, can get rid of or decrease these risks, and the initial step for proper treatment is a hearing test.
An expert hearing test is a pain-free and comfortable way to learn a lot about your hearing and your health, so why are you waiting to schedule your appointment?