Image of woman getting hearing test with the results superimposed.

Invaluable insight into your state of health is provided by a hearing test. Because ears are so sensitive, hearing tests can potentially detect early signs of other health issues. What will you learn from a hearing test?

A Hearing Test, What is it?

There are various kinds of hearing tests, but the ordinary assessment involves putting on earphones and listening to a series of sounds. The hearing specialist will play these sounds at various volumes and pitch levels to figure out whether you have hearing loss, and if so the severity of the loss.

Another common hearing exam includes listening to words in one ear and repeating them back to make certain you are capable of interpreting sounds accurately. In some cases, this test is purposely done with background noise to see whether that affects your ability to hear. To be able to get an accurate 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 normal hearing test identifies. Adults with 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 decibel level of the hearing loss defines the degree of damage.

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 like the eardrum, kind of hearing loss, and a person’s ability to hear clearly when there is background noise.

But hearing assessments can also uncover other health concerns like:

  • Extreme headaches and pain in the joints triggered by Paget’s disease.
  • Diabetes. Damaged blood vessels, such as the ones in the inner ear, can theoretically be injured by too much sugar in the blood.
  • Dizziness, vertigo, and other issues associated with Meniere’s disease.
  • And, Otosclerosis, which if caught early enough, has the possibility of being reversed.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. Hearing loss is 300% percent more likely in people with RA..
  • Heart and circulation issues. The inner ear has one blood vessel, and that makes it more susceptible to changes in blood pressure and cholesterol.

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

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

When you recognize why you have hearing loss, you can try to find ways to manage it and to take care of your general health.

The hearing specialist will also look at the results of the exam to determine risk factors caused by your hearing loss and come up with a preemptive strategy to minimize those risks.

What Are The Risk Factors of Ignoring Hearing Loss?

Medical science is starting to understand how hearing loss impacts a person’s health and quality of life. Researchers from Johns Hopkins examined 636 individuals over 12 years. They found that a greater risk of dementia comes with loss of hearing. The risk gets higher with more substantial hearing loss.

Twice the risk of dementia comes with moderate loss of hearing, based on this study. A moderate loss means three times the risk, and severe hearing impairment increases the risk by five.

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

A recent bout of exhaustion could also be explained by a hearing test. In order to comprehend what you hear, the brain has to do work. It needs to work harder to detect and translate sound when there is loss of hearing. Your left feeling tired all the time as your other senses are robbed of energy.

Finally, the National Council on Aging states there is a clear correlation between depression and hearing loss, specifically age-related hearing loss when it is left untreated.

Treating hearing loss, with hearing aids or other hearing technology, can eliminate or decrease these risks, and the first step for proper treatment is a hearing test.

A painless way to find out about your hearing and your health is an expert hearing test so schedule your appointment today.

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