More Than Hearing Loss Can be Uncovered by a Hearing Test
Important information about 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 you discover from a hearing test?
A Hearing Exam, What is it?
Out of the various types of hearing tests, putting on earphones and listening to a series of tones is the standard assessment. 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 accurately, another hearing test plays words in one ear and you will repeat them back. To identify what type of sounds influence 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?
Ultimately, a typical 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. At this point, hearing experts gauge hearing loss as:
- Moderate to severe
The decibel level of the hearing loss identifies the level of impairment.
Do Hearing Tests Determine Anything Else?
There are also test which can evaluate 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 kind of hearing loss.
But hearing exams can also uncover other health problems such as:
- Paget’s disease, which can cause extreme headaches and pain in the joints and bones.
- Heart and circulation problems. The inner ear has one blood vessel, and that makes it more susceptible to fluctuations in blood pressure and cholesterol.
- And, Otosclerosis, which if diagnosed early enough, has the possibility of being reversed.
- Dizziness, vertigo, and other issues related to Meniere’s disease.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. Hearing loss is 300% percent more likely in people with RA..
- Diabetes. It’s thought that too much sugar in the blood can damage blood vessels including the one that feeds the inner ear.
The information from the hearing test can be used by the specialist to figure out if you have the following:
- Damage caused by exposure to loud noises, ototoxic chemicals or medications
- Damage from trauma
- Unusual bone growths
- Age related hearing loss
- Injury from chronic infections or disease
- Another medical issue like high blood pressure causing hearing loss
When you recognize why you have loss of hearing, you can try to find ways to deal with it and to take care of your overall health.
The hearing specialist will also look at the results of the examination to determine risk factors caused by your hearing loss and come up with a preemptive plan to decrease those risks.
What Are The Risk Factors of Neglecting Hearing Loss?
Medical science is beginning to recognize how quality of life and health are impacted by hearing loss. Researchers from Johns Hopkins examined 636 individuals over 12 years. They found that those with hearing loss have an increased risk of dementia. The more significant the hearing loss, the greater the risk.
Double the risk of dementia comes with moderate hearing loss, according to this study. A moderate loss means three times the risk, and severe hearing impairment raises the risk by five.
Also, social decline is evident in people with loss of hearing. People who have trouble hearing discussions will avoid engaging in them. Less time with family and friends and more alone time can be the result.
A recent bout of fatigue could also be explained by a hearing test. In order to comprehend what you hear, the brain needs to do work. It needs to work harder to detect and interpret sound when there is loss of hearing. That robs your other senses of energy and leaves you feeling tired all the time.
Finally, the National Council on Aging reports there is a clear correlation between depression and loss of hearing, especially age-related hearing loss when it is left untreated.
Treating hearing loss, with hearing aids or other hearing technology, can mitigate or even eliminate these risks, and a hearing test is step one for correct treatment.
A professional hearing test is a painless and comfortable way to determine a lot about your hearing and your health, so why are you waiting to schedule your appointment?