Important insight into your state of health is offered by a hearing test. Hearing tests can potentially detect other health concerns because the ears are so sensitive. What will you learn from a hearing assessment?
What is a Hearing Exam?
There are different kinds of hearing tests, but the standard examination involves putting on earphones and listening to a series of tones. In order to discover the depth of your hearing loss, the hearing professional will play the tones at different pitches and volumes.
Another common hearing exam involves listening to words in one ear and repeating them back to make sure you were capable of interpreting sounds accurately. To identify what kind of sounds influence your ability to hear, background noise is often added to this test. In order to get an accurate measurement for each side, tests are performed on each ear individually.
What do Hearing Test Results Indicate?
Ultimately, a typical hearing test determines whether a person has hearing loss and how bad it is. Normal hearing in adults with minor hearing loss is 25 decibels or less. At this point, hearing professionals gauge hearing loss as:
- Moderate to severe
The decibel level of the hearing loss identifies the degree of impairment.
What Else do Hearing Tests Evaluate?
There are also test that can measure the viability of structures of the middle ear such as the eardrum, how clearly a person hears with background noise, the threshold of air and bone conduction, and the kind of hearing loss.
Other health concerns can also be revealed by a hearing examination such as:
- Severe headaches and pain in the joints triggered by Paget’s disease.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. Studies show that people with RA are as much as 300 percent more likely to have hearing loss.
- Diabetes. Injured blood vessels, like the ones in the inner ear, can theoretically be harmed by too much sugar in the blood.
- Otosclerosis, which if diagnosed early can possibly be reversed.
- Heart and circulation problems. The inner ear has one blood vessel, and that makes it more susceptible to alterations in blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Meniere’s disease and other issues with dizziness and vertigo.
The hearing specialist will take all the insight revealed by hearing tests and use it to figure out whether you are suffering from:
- Unusual bone growths
- Damage caused by exposure to loud noises, ototoxic chemicals or medications
- A different medical problem like high blood pressure causing hearing loss
- Injury from chronic disease or infections
- Damage from trauma
- Hearing loss associated with aging
You can try to find ways to safeguard your health and take care of your hearing loss once you discover why you have it.
The hearing expert will also look at the results of the examination to determine risk factors caused by your loss of hearing and create a preemptive plan to minimize those risks.
If You Ignore Hearing Loss, What Are The Risk Factors?
Medical science is starting 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 an increased risk of dementia comes with hearing loss. The more significant the hearing loss, the greater the risk.
Based on to this study, somebody with mild loss of hearing has twice the risk of dementia. A moderate loss means three times the risk, and severe hearing impairment increases the risk by five.
Also, social decline is apparent in those with hearing loss. People who have difficulty following discussions will avoid having them. Less time with family and friends and more alone time can be the result.
A recent bout of exhaustion might also be explained by a hearing test. In order to understand what you hear, the brain has to do work. When there is hearing loss, it will have to work harder to pick up on sound and translate it. Your left always feeling tired because your other senses are robbed of energy.
Finally, the National Council on Aging reports there is a clear correlation between hearing loss and depression, 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 step one for proper treatment.
An expert hearing test is a painless and safe way to learn a lot about your hearing and your health, so why are you waiting to schedule your appointment?