Hearing Examinations Can Detect More Than Hearing Loss
Invaluable information about your state of health is offered by a hearing test. Because ears are so sensitive, hearing tests can sometimes identify early signs of other health issues. What will you learn from a hearing evaluation?
What is a Hearing Test?
Out of the many kinds of hearing tests, putting on headphones and listening to a series of tones is the standard examination. The hearing specialist will play these tones at different volumes and pitch levels to determine whether you have hearing loss, and if so the severity of the loss.
In order to make sure you hear sounds correctly, another hearing test plays 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 individually to get a proper measurement for each side.
What is The Significance of Hearing Test Results?
Whether someone has loss of hearing, and the extent of it, is what the standard hearing test identifies. Adults with minor hearing loss, 25 decibels or less, are considered to have normal hearing. Using this test expert can figure out if the loss of hearing is:
- Moderate to severe
The level of damage is based on the decibel level of the hearing loss.
What Else do Hearing Tests Measure?
There are also test that can evaluate the viability of structures of the middle ear like the eardrum, how well a person hears with background noise, the threshold of air and bone conduction, and the kind of hearing loss.
Other health problems can also be revealed by a hearing examination such as:
- Otosclerosis, which if diagnosed early can possibly be reversed.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. Hearing loss is 300% percent more likely in people with RA..
- Meniere’s disease and other problems with dizziness and vertigo.
- Paget’s disease, which can cause extreme headaches and pain in the joints and bones.
- Heart and circulation issues. The inner ear has one blood vessel, which makes it more sensitive to alterations in blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Diabetes. It’s thought that high levels of sugar in the blood can injure blood vessels like the one that feeds the inner ear.
The hearing expert will take all the insight revealed by hearing exams and use it to figure out if you have:
- Damage caused by exposure to loud noises, ototoxic chemicals or medications
- Another medical problem like high blood pressure causing hearing loss
- Injury from trauma
- Injury from chronic infections or disease
- Age related hearing loss
- Irregular bone growths
You can look for ways to protect your health and take care of your loss of hearing once you recognize why you have it.
A preemptive strategy to minimize the risks caused by loss of hearing will be developed by the professional after examining the results of the test.
If You Ignore Hearing Loss, What Are The Risk Factors?
Medical science is beginning to realize how hearing loss impacts 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 increases with more significant hearing loss.
According to this study, someone with mild loss of hearing has 2 times the risk of dementia. Three times the risk comes with moderate loss of hearing and five times the risk with severe hearing loss.
Also, social decline is apparent in people with hearing loss. People will stay away from discussions if they have difficulty following them. That can lead to more alone time and less time with friends and family.
A hearing test might explain a recent bout of fatigue, as well. The brain works to translate sound, so you can understand what you hear. It has to work harder to detect and translate sound when there is hearing loss. That robs your other senses of energy and makes you feel tired all the time.
Finally, the National Council on Aging states 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 get rid of or decrease these risks, and the first step for proper treatment is a hearing test.
A professional hearing test is a painless and comfortable way to learn a lot about your hearing and your health, so why are you waiting to schedule your appointment?