HEARING TIPS

Hearing Examinations Can Detect More Than Loss of Hearing

Image of woman getting hearing test with the results superimposed.

Hearing tests provide important information about your health. Hearing tests can sometimes uncover other health concerns because the ears are so sensitive. What will a hearing examination tell you about your health.

A Hearing Exam, What is it?

There are different kinds of hearing tests, but the basic examination involves putting on earphones and listening to a series of sounds. The hearing expert will play these tones at different volumes and pitches to determine if you have hearing loss, and if so the severity of the loss.

Another common hearing test includes listening to words in one ear and repeating them back to make certain you were capable of interpreting sounds correctly. To identify what kind of sounds influence your hearing, background noise is often added to this test. Tests are often done in each ear individually to get a proper measurement for each side.

What do Hearing Test Results Mean?

Whether somebody has loss of hearing, and the extent of it, is what the normal hearing test determines. Normal hearing in adults with minor hearing loss is 25 decibels or less. From there, hearing specialists gauge hearing loss as:

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

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

What Else do Hearing Tests Evaluate?

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 there is background noise.

But hearing assessments can also expose other health issues including:

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

The hearing expert will take all the information uncovered by hearing exams and use it to figure out if you are suffering from:

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

You can look for ways to protect your health and manage your hearing loss once you understand why you have it.

A preemptive strategy to minimize the risks caused by hearing loss will be developed by the professional after looking at the results of the test.

If You Ignore Hearing Loss, What Are The Risks?

Medical science is starting to realize 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 those with loss of hearing have an increased risk of dementia. The more substantial the hearing loss, the greater the risk.

Based on to this study, a person with mild loss of hearing has 2 times the risk of dementia. A moderate loss means three times the risk, and severe hearing impairment raises the risk by five.

There is evidence of social decline with hearing loss, as well. People will avoid discussions if they have trouble following them. That can lead to more alone time and less time with family and friends.

A hearing test might explain a recent bout of fatigue, as well. In order to understand what you hear, the brain has to do work. It needs to work harder to perceive and interpret sound when there is hearing loss. Your left always feeling tired as your other senses are robbed of energy.

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

Treating hearing loss, with hearing aids or other hearing technology, can eliminate or decrease these risks, and step one for correct 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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