Invaluable insight into your state of health is offered by a hearing test. Because ears are so sensitive, hearing tests can potentially identify early signs of other health issues. What will you learn from a hearing test?
What is a Hearing Test?
There are various kinds of hearing tests, but the common assessment involves putting on headphones and listening to a series of tones. The hearing expert will play these tones at various volumes and pitch levels to determine whether you have hearing loss, and if so the severity of the loss.
Another typical hearing test consists of listening to words in one ear and repeating them back to make certain you are able to interpret sounds accurately. To find out what kind of sounds affect your hearing, background noise is sometimes added to this test. To be able to get a proper measurement for each side, tests are performed on each ear separately.
What do Hearing Test Results Mean?
Whether someone has hearing loss, and the extent of it, is what the standard hearing test identifies. Normal hearing in adults with minor loss of hearing is 25 decibels or less. Using this test expert can identify if the hearing loss is:
- Moderate to severe
The decibel level of the hearing loss defines the amount of impairment.
What Else do Hearing Tests Measure?
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 there is background noise.
But hearing examinations can also uncover other health concerns like:
- Extreme 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. It’s believed that high levels of sugar in the blood can harm blood vessels like the one that feeds the inner ear.
- Meniere’s disease and other issues with dizziness and vertigo.
- And, Otosclerosis, which if diagnosed early enough, has the possibility of being reversed.
- Heart and circulation problems. The inner ear has one blood vessel, which makes it more sensitive to changes in blood pressure and cholesterol.
The insight from the hearing exam can be used by the specialist to figure out if you have the following:
- A different medical problem like high blood pressure causing hearing loss
- Injury from trauma
- Damage from chronic disease or infections
- Injury caused by exposure to ototoxic chemicals or medications, loud noises
- Irregular bone growths
- Age related hearing loss
You can look for ways to safeguard your health and take care of your hearing loss once you understand why you have it.
A preemptive strategy to lessen the risks caused by hearing loss will be developed by the specialist after evaluating the results of the test.
If You Ignore Hearing Loss, What Are The Risks?
Medical science is beginning 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 loss of hearing. The risk gets higher with more substantial hearing loss.
According to this study, someone with mild hearing loss has twice the risk of dementia. Three times the risk comes with moderate loss of hearing and five times the risk with severe loss of hearing.
There is evidence of social decline with hearing loss, as well. People will avoid conversations if they have difficulty following them. That can lead to more alone time and less time with friends and family.
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 needs to work harder to perceive and interpret sound when there is hearing loss. Your left always feeling tired as your other senses are robbed of energy.
Finally, the National Council on Aging states there is a clear correlation between depression and loss of hearing, especially, when left untreated, age related loss of hearing.
Treating hearing loss, with hearing aids or other hearing technology, can get rid of or decrease these risks, and a hearing test is the first step for correct treatment.
A pain free way to find out about your hearing and your health is an expert hearing test so schedule your appointment today.