More Than Loss of Hearing Can be Uncovered by a Hearing Test

Image of woman getting hearing test with the results superimposed.

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 problems. What will a hearing examination tell you about your health.

What is a Hearing Test?

Out of the many kinds of hearing tests, putting on headphones and listening to a series of sounds is the basic evaluation. The hearing professional will play these tones at different volumes and pitch levels to figure out whether you have hearing loss, and if so the severity of the loss.

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. To find out what kind of sounds affect your ability to hear, background noise is sometimes added to this test. In order to get an accurate measurement for each side, tests are done on each ear individually.

What do Hearing Test Results Indicate?

Whether a person has hearing loss, and the extent of it, is what the normal hearing test determines. Normal hearing in adults with minor hearing loss is 25 decibels or less. Using this test specialist can determine if the hearing loss is:

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

The degree 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 like the eardrum, kind 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 examination such as:

  • Diabetes. It’s believed that high levels of sugar in the blood can injure blood vessels including the one that feeds the inner ear.
  • Severe headaches and pain in the joints caused by Paget’s disease.
  • Heart and circulation issues. The inner ear has one blood vessel, which makes it more susceptible to fluctuations in blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Dizziness, vertigo, and other challenges associated with Meniere’s disease.
  • And, Otosclerosis, which if diagnosed early enough, has the possibility of being reversed.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. Hearing loss is 300% percent more likely in people with RA..

The insight from the hearing test can be used by the specialist to figure out if you suffer from the following:

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

You can try to find ways to protect your health and take care of your hearing loss once you discover why you have it.

A preemptive plan to lessen the risks caused by hearing loss will be put together by the specialist after evaluating the results of the test.

If You Ignore Hearing Loss, What Are The Risks?

Medical science is beginning to understand how quality of life and health are affected by loss of hearing. Researchers from Johns Hopkins kept track of 636 individuals over 12 years. They found that people with loss of hearing have an increased risk of dementia. The more significant the hearing loss, the higher the risk.

Based on to this study, someone with mild hearing loss has 2 times the risk of dementia. Three times the risk comes with moderate hearing loss and five times the risk with severe loss of hearing.

There is evidence of social decline with loss of hearing, as well. People who have trouble hearing discussions will avoid having them. Less time with family and friends and more alone time can be the result.

A recent bout of exhaustion might also be explained by a hearing test. In order to understand what you hear, the brain needs to do work. It has to work harder to detect and interpret sound when there is loss of hearing. 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 depression and loss of hearing, specifically, when left untreated, age related hearing loss.

Treating hearing loss, with hearing aids or other hearing technology, can get rid of or decrease these risks, and a hearing test is step one for proper treatment.

An expert hearing test is a pain-free and safe way to learn a lot about your hearing and your health, so why are you waiting to schedule your appointment?

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.