Image of woman getting hearing test with the results superimposed.

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

What is a Hearing Exam?

Out of the various types of hearing exams, putting on headphones and listening to a series of sounds is the basic evaluation. In order to detect the depth of your hearing loss, the hearing professional will play the tones at different volumes and pitches.

In order to make sure you hear sounds correctly, another hearing test will play words in one ear and you will repeat them back. To identify what type of sounds affect your ability to hear, background noise is sometimes added to this test. In order to get a proper measurement for each side, tests are done on each ear individually.

What do Hearing Test Results Mean?

Ultimately, a standard hearing test pinpoints whether a person has hearing loss and the extent of it. Adults who have minor hearing loss, 25 decibels or less, are considered to have normal hearing. Using this test expert can identify if the loss of hearing is:

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

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

What Else do Hearing Tests Measure?

There are also test that can measure the viability of structures of the middle ear like the eardrum, how well a person hears with background noise, the threshold of air and bone conduction, and the type of hearing loss.

But hearing examinations can also uncover other health concerns like:

  • Diabetes. It’s thought that high levels of sugar in the blood can injure blood vessels including the one that feeds the inner ear.
  • Heart and circulation problems. The inner ear has one blood vessel, which makes it more sensitive to changes in blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Meniere’s disease and other issues with dizziness and vertigo.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. Hearing loss is 300% percent more likely in people with RA..
  • Severe headaches and pain in the joints triggered by Paget’s disease.
  • Otosclerosis, which if caught early can sometimes be reversed.

The hearing specialist will take all the insight uncovered by hearing tests and use it to figure out whether you are suffering from:

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

After you discover why you have loss of hearing, you can try to find ways to deal with it and to take care of your overall health.

The hearing expert will also examine the results of the test to determine risk factors caused by your loss of hearing and come up with a preemptive plan to lower those risks.

What Are The Risks of Neglecting Hearing Loss?

Medical science is starting to understand how quality of life and health are affected by hearing loss. Researchers from Johns Hopkins kept track of 636 individuals over 12 years. They found that a greater risk of dementia comes with hearing loss. The risk increases with more significant hearing loss.

Based on to this study, someone with mild loss of hearing has double 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 apparent in those with loss of hearing. People who have trouble following discussions will avoid having them. That can lead to more time alone and less time with family and friends.

A hearing test might explain a recent bout of exhaustion, as well. In order to understand what you hear, the brain needs to do work. It needs to work harder to detect and translate sound when there is hearing loss. 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 hearing loss and depression, especially age-related hearing loss when it is left untreated.

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

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

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