Image of woman getting hearing test with the results superimposed.

Hearing tests provide important information about your health. Because ears are so sensitive, hearing tests can sometimes detect early signs of other health issues. What will you learn from a hearing assessment?

A Hearing Exam, What is it?

Out of the various kinds of hearing tests, putting on headphones and listening to a series of tones is the basic examination. The hearing expert will play these tones at various volumes and pitches to determine if you have hearing loss, and if so the depth of the loss.

Another common hearing test involves listening to words in one ear and repeating them back to make sure you were able to interpret sounds accurately. In some cases, this test is purposely done with background noise to see whether that affects your hearing. Tests are commonly done in each ear individually to get a proper measurement for each side.

What is The Meaning of Hearing Test Results?

Ultimately, an ordinary hearing test identifies whether someone has hearing loss and how bad it is. Normal hearing in adults with minor hearing loss is 25 decibels or less. Using this test expert can identify if the hearing loss is:

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

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

Do Hearing Tests Measure Anything Else?

Other hearing tests can measure 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 there is background noise.

But hearing assessments can also reveal other health issues like:

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

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

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

When you recognize why you have hearing loss, you can look for ways to deal with it and to protect your general health.

A preemptive plan to reduce the risks caused by hearing loss will be developed by the expert after evaluating the results of the test.

What Are The Risk Factors of Ignoring 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 an increased risk of dementia comes with hearing loss. The more substantial the hearing loss, the higher the risk.

Based on to this study, somebody with mild hearing loss has 2 times 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 following discussions will avoid having them. That can lead to more alone time and less time with friends and family.

A recent bout of fatigue could also be explained by a hearing test. The brain works to interpret sound, so you can understand what you hear. When there is loss of hearing, it will have to work harder to pick up on sound and interpret it. 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 hearing loss and depression, especially, when left untreated, age related loss of hearing.

Treating hearing loss, with hearing aids or other hearing technology, can get rid of or mitigate these risks, and a hearing test is the initial step for correct treatment.

A professional hearing test is a painless and comfortable way to determine a lot about your hearing and your health, so why are you waiting to schedule your appointment?

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

Medical information dates as new research comes out all the time - if you have a concern about your hearing, please call us.

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