Image of woman getting hearing test with the results superimposed.

Important insight into your state of health is provided by a hearing test. Hearing tests can sometimes uncover other health issues because the ears are so sensitive. What will you learn from a hearing examination?

What is a Hearing Test?

There are different types of hearing tests, but the standard exam involves putting on earphones 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 depth of the loss.

Another common hearing exam includes listening to words in one ear and repeating them back to make certain you are able to interpret sounds correctly. To identify what kind of sounds impact your hearing, background noise is sometimes added to this test. Tests are often done in each ear separately to get a proper measurement for each side.

What is The Meaning of Hearing Test Results?

Ultimately, an ordinary hearing test pinpoints whether somebody has hearing loss and the extent of it. Adults who have minor hearing loss, 25 decibels or less, are considered to have normal hearing. At this point, hearing experts gauge hearing loss as:

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

The level of impairment is based on the decibel level of the hearing loss.

What Else do Hearing Tests Measure?

Other hearing tests can measure the thresholds of air and bone conduction, viability of the structures in the middle ear like the eardrum, type of hearing loss, and a person’s ability to hear distinctly when there is background noise.

Other health concerns can also be revealed by a hearing examination like:

  • Extreme headaches and pain in the joints caused by Paget’s disease.
  • Diabetes. Impaired blood vessels, including the ones in the inner ear, can theoretically be injured by high levels of sugar in the blood.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. Studies show that people with RA are as much as 300 percent more likely to have hearing loss.
  • And, Otosclerosis, which if diagnosed early enough, has the possibility of being reversed.
  • Dizziness, vertigo, and other issues associated with Meniere’s disease.
  • Heart and circulation issues. The inner ear has one blood vessel, and that makes it more susceptible to alterations in blood pressure and cholesterol.

The insight from the hearing exam can be used by the specialist to determine if you have the following:

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

Once you recognize why you have hearing loss, you can look for ways to manage it and to protect your overall health.

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

What Are The Risk Factors of Ignoring Hearing Loss?

Medical science is starting to comprehend 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 people with loss of hearing have a greater risk of dementia. The risk gets higher with more significant hearing loss.

Based on to this study, a person with mild loss of hearing has twice the risk of dementia. A moderate loss means three times the risk, and severe hearing impairment increases the risk by five.

Also, social decline is evident in people with hearing loss. People who have difficulty hearing discussions will avoid engaging in them. Less time with friends and family and more alone time can be the outcome.

A hearing test may explain a recent bout of fatigue, also. In order to understand what you hear, the brain needs to do work. It needs to work harder to perceive and interpret sound when there is loss of hearing. 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, specifically, when left untreated, age related loss of hearing.

Treating hearing loss, with hearing aids or other hearing technology, can eliminate or mitigate these risks, and a hearing test is step one 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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