Hearing Tests Can Uncover More Than Loss of Hearing
Invaluable information about your state of health is offered by a hearing test. Hearing tests can potentially uncover other health issues because the ears are so sensitive. What will you learn from a hearing test?
A Hearing Exam, What is it?
There are various kinds of hearing tests, but the basic evaluation involves putting on headphones and listening to a series of sounds. In order to detect the depth of your hearing loss, the hearing specialist will play the tones at various pitches and volumes.
So that you can make sure you hear sounds correctly, another hearing test will play words in one ear and you will repeat them back. Sometimes, this test is purposely done with background noise to see whether that affects your ability to hear. Tests are often done in each ear separately to get a proper measurement for each side.
What do Hearing Test Results Mean?
Ultimately, a standard hearing test determines whether somebody has hearing loss and the extent of it. Normal hearing in adults with minor hearing loss is 25 decibels or less. From there, hearing professionals gauge hearing loss as:
- Moderate to severe
The decibel level of the hearing loss identifies the level of damage.
What Else do Hearing Tests Evaluate?
Other hearing tests can evaluate the thresholds of air and bone conduction, viability of the structures in the middle ear like the eardrum, kind of hearing loss, and a person’s ability to hear distinctly when background noise is present.
Other health problems can also be revealed by a hearing exam such as:
- Meniere’s disease and other issues with dizziness and vertigo.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. Research reveals that people with RA are as much as 300 percent more likely to have hearing loss.
- Heart and circulation problems. The inner ear has one blood vessel, and that makes it more susceptible to alterations in blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Otosclerosis, which if caught early can sometimes be reversed.
- Diabetes. It’s thought that high levels of sugar in the blood can injure blood vessels including the one that feeds the inner ear.
- Extreme headaches and pain in the joints caused by Paget’s disease.
The hearing expert will take all the information uncovered by hearing tests and use it to determine if you have:
- Injury from trauma
- Damage from chronic disease or infections
- Injury caused by exposure to loud noises, ototoxic chemicals or medications
- Another medical issue causing the hearing loss like high blood pressure
- Hearing loss associated with aging
- Unusual bone growths
When you understand why you have hearing loss, you can try to find ways to manage it and to take care of your overall health.
The hearing specialist will also examine the results of the examination to identify risk factors caused by your hearing loss and create a preemptive plan to decrease those risks.
What Are The Risk Factors of Ignoring Hearing Loss?
Medical science is starting to understand 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 loss of hearing have a greater risk of dementia. The risk gets higher with more substantial hearing loss.
Twice the risk of dementia comes with moderate loss of hearing, according to this study. Three times the risk comes with moderate hearing loss and five times the risk with severe hearing loss.
Also, social decline is evident in people with hearing loss. People who have difficulty following conversations will avoid engaging in them. Less time with friends and family and more alone time can be the result.
A hearing test could clarify a recent bout of fatigue, too. In order to comprehend what you hear, the brain needs 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 as your other senses are robbed of energy.
Finally, the National Council on Aging reports there is a clear correlation between hearing loss and depression, especially, when left untreated, age related hearing loss.
Treating hearing loss, with hearing aids or other hearing technology, can decrease or even get rid of these risks, and a hearing test is the first step for proper treatment.
A pain free way to find out about your hearing and your health is a professional hearing test so schedule your appointment today.