Image of woman getting hearing test with the results superimposed.

Hearing tests give invaluable insights into your health. Hearing tests can sometimes detect other health problems because the ears are so sensitive. What will you discover from a hearing evaluation?

What is a Hearing Test?

Out of the many varieties of hearing exams, putting on earphones and listening to a series of tones is the basic evaluation. In order to discover the depth of your hearing loss, the hearing specialist will play the tones at various pitches and volumes.

Another common hearing exam includes listening to words in one ear and repeating them back to make sure you were capable of interpreting sounds accurately. At times, this test is deliberately done with background noise to find out whether that affects your ability to hear. In order to get a proper measurement for each side, tests are done on each ear individually.

What is The Meaning of Hearing Test Results?

Ultimately, an ordinary hearing test pinpoints whether someone has hearing loss and how bad it is. Normal hearing in adults with minor loss of hearing is 25 decibels or less. From there, hearing specialists gauge hearing loss as:

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

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

Do Hearing Tests Determine Anything Else?

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

But hearing assessments can also reveal other health issues such as:

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

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

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

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

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

What Are The Risks of Ignoring Hearing Loss?

Medical science is beginning to recognize how quality of life and health are affected by hearing loss. Researchers from Johns Hopkins examined 636 individuals over 12 years. They found that a greater risk of dementia comes with loss of hearing. The more substantial the hearing loss, the higher the risk.

Two times the risk of dementia comes with moderate loss of hearing, based on this study. Three times the risk comes with moderate hearing loss and five times the risk with severe hearing loss.

Also, social decline is evident in people with loss of hearing. People who have trouble following discussions will avoid engaging in them. That can lead to more alone time and less time with family and friends.

A recent bout of exhaustion may also be explained by a hearing test. In order to understand what you hear, the brain has to do work. It has to work harder to perceive and translate sound when there is hearing loss. That robs your other senses of energy and leaves you feeling tired all the time.

Finally, the National Council on Aging reports there is a clear correlation between loss of hearing 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 mitigate these risks, and step one for proper treatment is a hearing test.

A professional hearing test is a pain-free and safe way to find out a lot about your hearing and your health, so why are you waiting to schedule your appointment?

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