More Than Hearing Loss Can be Discovered by a Hearing Test

Image of woman getting hearing test with the results superimposed.

Important insight into your state of health is offered by a hearing test. Because ears are so sensitive, hearing tests can potentially identify early signs of other health issues. What will a hearing examination tell you about your health.

What is a Hearing Exam?

There are a variety of kinds of hearing tests, but the standard examination involves putting on headphones and listening to a series of tones. In order to detect the depth of your hearing loss, the hearing specialist will play the tones at various pitches and volumes.

So that you can make sure you hear sounds correctly, another hearing test plays 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 an accurate measurement for each side, tests are performed on each ear individually.

What is The Significance of Hearing Test Results?

Whether somebody has hearing loss, and the extent of it, is what the normal hearing test determines. Normal hearing in adults with minor loss of hearing is 25 decibels or less. Using this test specialist can find out if the loss of hearing is:

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

The amount of damage is based on the decibel level of the hearing loss.

Do Hearing Tests Evaluate 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, kind of hearing loss, and a person’s ability to hear clearly when there is background noise.

But hearing examinations can also uncover other health problems including:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis. Studies show that people with RA are as much as 300 percent more likely to have hearing loss.
  • And, Otosclerosis, which if diagnosed early enough, has the possibility of being reversed.
  • Diabetes. It’s believed that high levels of sugar in the blood can injure blood vessels including the one that feeds the inner ear.
  • Dizziness, vertigo, and other challenges associated with Meniere’s disease.
  • Heart and circulation problems. The inner ear has one blood vessel, and that makes it more sensitive to alterations in blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Paget’s disease, which can cause extreme headaches and pain in the joints and bones.

The insight from the hearing exam can be used by the expert to figure out if you have the following:

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

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

A preemptive strategy to lower the risks caused by hearing loss will be developed by the professional after evaluating the results of the test.

If You Ignore Hearing Loss, What Are The Risk Factors?

Medical science is starting to recognize how quality of life and health are affected by loss of hearing. 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 more substantial the hearing loss, the higher the risk.

According to this study, a person 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.

There is evidence of social decline with hearing loss, as well. People will stay away from conversations if they have difficulty following them. Less time with friends and family and more time alone can be the outcome.

A recent bout of fatigue might also be explained by a hearing test. In order to comprehend what you hear, the brain needs to do work. It has to work harder to perceive and translate 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 states there is a clear correlation between depression and hearing loss, especially, when left untreated, age related hearing loss.

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

A professional hearing test is a painless and safe way to find out 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.