Image of woman getting hearing test with the results superimposed.

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

What is a Hearing Exam?

There are different kinds of hearing tests, but the ordinary exam involves putting on headphones and listening to a series of sounds. The hearing professional will play these tones at various volumes and pitch levels to figure out if you have hearing loss, and if so the depth of the loss.

Another common hearing exam involves listening to words in one ear and repeating them back to make certain you were able to interpret sounds accurately. Sometimes, this test is deliberately done with background sound to see whether that affects your hearing. To be able to get a proper measurement for each side, tests are performed on each ear individually.

What do Hearing Test Results Indicate?

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

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

The decibel level of the hearing loss identifies the degree of impairment.

What Else do Hearing Tests Measure?

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

But hearing assessments can also uncover other health issues like:

  • Extreme headaches and pain in the joints triggered by Paget’s disease.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. Hearing loss is 300% percent more likely in people with RA..
  • Diabetes. It’s thought that too much sugar in the blood can injure blood vessels like the one that goes to the inner ear.
  • Heart and circulation problems. The inner ear has one blood vessel, and that makes it more sensitive to fluctuations in blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Dizziness, vertigo, and other issues related to Meniere’s disease.
  • Otosclerosis, which if caught early can possibly be reversed.

The hearing expert will take all the insight uncovered by hearing exams and use it to figure out if you have:

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

When you discover why you have hearing loss, you can try to find ways to manage it and to protect your general health.

A preemptive strategy to lessen the risks caused by hearing loss 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 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 a greater risk of dementia comes with loss of hearing. The risk increases with more significant hearing loss.

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

There is evidence of social decline with loss of hearing, as well. People who have difficulty hearing discussions will avoid engaging in them. That can lead to more alone time and less time with family and friends.

A recent bout of fatigue might also be explained by a hearing test. In order to understand what you hear, the brain needs to do work. When there is hearing loss, it will have to work harder to perceive sound and translate it. That robs your other senses of energy and leaves you feeling tired all the time.

Finally, the National Council on Aging states there is a clear correlation between depression and loss of hearing, specifically 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 initial step for correct treatment is a hearing test.

A painless way to learn about your hearing and your health is a professional hearing test so schedule your appointment today.

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