Invaluable insight into your state of health is provided by a hearing test. Because ears are so sensitive, hearing tests can sometimes detect early signs of other health problems. What will a hearing exam tell you about your health.
A Hearing Exam, What is it?
There are different kinds of hearing tests, but the ordinary assessment involves putting on headphones 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.
So that you can make sure you hear sounds accurately, another hearing test will play words in one ear and you will repeat them back. In some cases, this test is intentionally done with background sound to find out whether that affects your ability to hear. Tests are usually done in each ear separately to get a proper measurement for each side.
What is The Meaning of Hearing Test Results?
Whether a person has loss of hearing, 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. At this point, hearing experts gauge hearing loss as:
- Moderate to severe
The decibel level of the hearing loss identifies the degree of damage.
Do Hearing Tests Measure Anything Else?
There are also test which can evaluate the viability of structures of the middle ear such as the eardrum, how well a person hears with background noise, the threshold of air and bone conduction, and the type of hearing loss.
Other health issues can also be revealed by a hearing exam such as:
- Dizziness, vertigo, and other issues associated with Meniere’s disease.
- Diabetes. It’s believed that high levels of sugar in the blood can damage blood vessels like the one that goes to the inner ear.
- Otosclerosis, which if caught early can sometimes be reversed.
- Paget’s disease, which can cause severe headaches and pain in the joints and bones.
- 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, which makes it more susceptible to alterations in blood pressure and cholesterol.
The hearing expert will take all the insight revealed by hearing exams and use it to figure out whether you have:
- Abnormal bone growths
- Damage from chronic infections or disease
- Hearing loss related to aging
- Another medical issue causing the hearing loss like high blood pressure
- Damage from exposure to ototoxic chemicals or medications, loud noises
- Injury from trauma
Once you discover why you have hearing loss, you can look for ways to manage it and to take care of your overall health.
A preemptive strategy to minimize the risks caused by loss of hearing will be developed by the professional after looking at the results of the test.
What Are The Risk Factors of Ignoring Hearing Loss?
Medical science is starting to understand 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 a greater risk of dementia comes with hearing loss. The risk gets higher with more significant hearing loss.
Based on to this study, somebody with mild hearing loss has twice the risk of dementia. A moderate loss means three times the risk, and severe hearing impairment raises the risk by five.
There is evidence of social decline with loss of hearing, as well. People who have difficulty hearing conversations will avoid having them. Less time with family and friends and more time alone can be the outcome.
A recent bout of exhaustion may also be explained by a hearing test. The brain works to interpret sound, so you can understand what you hear. It needs to work harder to perceive and translate sound when there is hearing loss. 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 loss of hearing and depression, especially, when left untreated, age related hearing loss.
Treating hearing loss, with hearing aids or other hearing technology, can eliminate or mitigate these risks, and the first step for correct treatment is a hearing test.
A painless way to find out about your hearing and your health is a professional hearing test so schedule your appointment today.