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 a hearing exam tell you about your health?
A Hearing Exam, What is it?
There are a variety of kinds of hearing tests, but the basic assessment involves putting on earphones and listening to a series of tones. The hearing specialist will play these sounds at various 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 deliberately done with background noise to see whether that affects your hearing. Tests are usually done in each ear separately to get a proper measurement for each side.
What is The Meaning of Hearing Test Results?
Whether a person has loss of hearing, and the extent of it, is what the standard hearing test determines. Adults with minor hearing loss, 25 decibels or less, are considered to have normal hearing. Using this test expert can determine if the hearing loss is:
- Moderate to severe
The level of damage is based on the decibel level of the hearing loss.
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 such as the eardrum, kind of hearing loss, and a person’s ability to hear distinctly when background noise is present.
Other health issues can also be revealed by a hearing test such as:
- Diabetes. It’s believed that high levels of sugar in the blood can damage blood vessels including the one that feeds the inner ear.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. Research reveals that people with RA are as much as 300 percent more likely to have hearing loss.
- Otosclerosis, which if diagnosed early can possibly be reversed.
- Meniere’s disease and other problems with dizziness and vertigo.
- Severe headaches and pain in the joints triggered by Paget’s disease.
- Heart and circulation issues. The inner ear has one blood vessel, and that makes it more sensitive to changes in blood pressure and cholesterol.
The hearing expert will take all the insight uncovered by hearing tests and use it to figure out if you are suffering from:
- Injury from trauma
- Age related hearing loss
- Damage from chronic disease or infections
- Another medical problem causing the hearing loss like high blood pressure
- Damage caused by exposure to loud noises, ototoxic chemicals or medications
- Irregular bone growths
Once you recognize why you have hearing loss, you can try to find ways to deal with it and to take care of your general health.
A preemptive strategy to decrease the risks caused by hearing loss will be put together by the specialist after examining the results of the test.
If You Ignore Hearing Loss, What Are The Risk Factors?
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 those with loss of hearing have an increased risk of dementia. The more significant the hearing loss, the higher the risk.
Twice 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.
There is evidence of social decline with loss of hearing, as well. People who have trouble following discussions will avoid engaging in them. Less time with family and friends and more alone time can be the outcome.
A hearing test may clarify a recent bout of exhaustion, also. In order to comprehend what you hear, the brain needs to do work. When there is loss of hearing, it will have to work harder to pick up on sound and interpret it. Your left always feeling tired as your other senses are robbed of energy.
Finally, the National Council on Aging reports there is a clear correlation between loss of hearing and depression, particularly age-related hearing loss when it is left untreated.
Treating hearing loss, with hearing aids or other hearing technology, can eliminate or mitigate these risks, and a hearing test is the initial step for correct treatment.