Hearing Tests Can Uncover More Than Loss of Hearing
Hearing tests provide invaluable information about your health. Hearing tests can potentially detect other health problems because the ears are so sensitive. What will you discover from a hearing examination?
A Hearing Test, What is it?
There are different kinds of hearing tests, but the common assessment involves putting on headphones and listening to a series of sounds. In order to detect 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 correctly, another hearing test will play words in one ear and you will repeat them back. Sometimes, this test is intentionally done with background noise to find out whether that affects your hearing. To be able to get an accurate measurement for each side, tests are performed on each ear individually.
What do Hearing Test Results Indicate?
Ultimately, a common hearing test determines whether a person has hearing loss and the extent of it. Adults who have minor hearing loss, 25 decibels or less, are considered to have normal hearing. Using this test specialist can determine if the loss of hearing is:
- Moderate to severe
The amount of damage is based on the decibel level of the hearing loss.
What Else do Hearing Tests Determine?
Other hearing tests can determine the thresholds of air and bone conduction, viability of the structures in the middle ear such as the eardrum, type of hearing loss, and a person’s ability to hear clearly 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.
- Severe headaches and pain in the joints caused by Paget’s disease.
- Heart and circulation problems. The inner ear has one blood vessel, which makes it more sensitive to alterations in blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. Hearing loss is 300% percent more likely in people with RA..
- And, Otosclerosis, which if caught early enough, has the possibility of being reversed.
- Diabetes. Impaired blood vessels, like the ones in the inner ear, can theoretically be damaged by high levels of sugar in the blood.
The hearing specialist will take all the information revealed by hearing exams and use it to figure out if you are suffering from:
- A different medical problem like high blood pressure causing hearing loss
- Injury caused by exposure to loud noises, ototoxic chemicals or medications
- Unusual bone growths
- Hearing loss associated with aging
- Damage from trauma
- Damage from chronic infections or disease
After you understand why you have hearing loss, you can try to find ways to manage it and to take care of your overall health.
A preemptive strategy to reduce the risks caused by loss of hearing will be developed by the specialist after evaluating the results of the test.
What Are The Risks of Ignoring Hearing Loss?
Medical science is starting to understand how quality of life and health are impacted by loss of hearing. Researchers from Johns Hopkins monitored 636 individuals over 12 years. They found that people with hearing loss have a greater risk of dementia. The more significant the hearing loss, the greater the risk.
Two times the risk of dementia comes with moderate hearing loss, according to this study. Three times the risk comes with moderate hearing loss and five times the risk with severe hearing loss.
There is evidence of social decline with hearing loss, as well. People will stay away from conversations if they have trouble following them. That can lead to more time alone and less time with family and friends.
A hearing test might explain a recent bout of exhaustion, as well. The brain works to translate sound, so you can comprehend what you hear. When there is loss of hearing, it will have to work harder to pick up on 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, particularly age-related hearing loss when it is left untreated.
Treating hearing loss, with hearing aids or other hearing technology, can mitigate or even get rid of these risks, and the initial step for correct treatment is a hearing test.
A professional hearing test is a painless and safe way to determine a lot about your hearing and your health, so why are you waiting to schedule your appointment?