Image of woman getting hearing test with the results superimposed.

Hearing tests give important insights into your health. Hearing tests can potentially detect other health problems because the ears are so sensitive. What will you learn from a hearing evaluation?

A Hearing Test, What is it?

There are a variety of types of hearing tests, but the basic assessment involves putting on headphones and listening to a series of tones. The hearing expert will play these sounds at various volumes and pitch levels to determine if you have hearing loss, and if so the severity of the loss.

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. To identify what kind of sounds influence your ability to hear, background noise is sometimes added to this test. Tests are often done in each ear individually to get a proper measurement for each side.

What is The Significance of Hearing Test Results?

Ultimately, a standard hearing test pinpoints whether a person has hearing loss and the extent of it. Adults with minor hearing loss, 25 decibels or less, are considered to have normal hearing. At this point, hearing specialists gauge hearing loss as:

  • Moderate
  • Mild
  • Moderate to severe
  • Profound
  • Severe

The decibel level of the hearing loss defines the degree of damage.

Do Hearing Tests Determine Anything Else?

Other hearing tests can measure 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 clearly when there is background noise.

But hearing assessments can also reveal other health concerns including:

  • Diabetes. It’s thought that high levels of sugar in the blood can damage blood vessels including the one that feeds the inner ear.
  • Meniere’s disease and other issues with dizziness and vertigo.
  • Heart and circulation issues. The inner ear has one blood vessel, and that makes it more sensitive to changes in blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Paget’s disease, which can cause extreme headaches and pain in the joints and bones.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. Hearing loss is 300% percent more likely in people with RA..
  • And, Otosclerosis, which if diagnosed early enough, has the possibility of being reversed.

The hearing expert will take all the insight uncovered by hearing exams and use it to determine if you are suffering from:

  • Injury from chronic disease or infections
  • Injury from trauma
  • Irregular bone growths
  • Tumors
  • Damage caused by exposure to loud noises, ototoxic chemicals or medications
  • A different medical problem like high blood pressure causing hearing loss
  • Age related hearing loss

You can look for ways to safeguard your health and take care of your loss of hearing once you discover why you have it.

A preemptive strategy to lessen the risks caused by loss of hearing will be formulated by the expert after looking at the results of the test.

If You Ignore Hearing Loss, What Are The Risks?

Medical science is beginning to realize how hearing loss impacts a person’s health and quality of life. Researchers from Johns Hopkins examined 636 individuals over 12 years. They found that a greater risk of dementia comes with hearing loss. The risk gets higher with more substantial hearing loss.

According to this study, somebody with mild hearing loss has twice the risk of dementia. Three times the risk comes with moderate hearing loss and five times the risk with severe loss of hearing.

Also, social decline is evident in those with hearing loss. People will stay away from discussions if they have trouble following them. That can lead to more time alone and less time with friends and family.

A hearing test may explain a recent bout of exhaustion, too. The brain works to interpret sound, so you can comprehend what you hear. When there is hearing loss, it will have to work harder to pick up on sound and translate it. 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 loss of hearing and depression, particularly, when left untreated, age related hearing loss.

Treating hearing loss, with hearing aids or other hearing technology, can eliminate or minimize these risks, and a hearing test is the initial step for correct treatment.

A pain free way to learn about your hearing and your health is an expert hearing test so schedule your appointment today.

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