Image of woman getting hearing test with the results superimposed.

Invaluable insight into your state of health is provided by a hearing test. Hearing tests can potentially uncover other health concerns because the ears are so sensitive. What will a hearing assessment tell you about your health.

A Hearing Test, What is it?

There are a variety of types of hearing tests, but the basic assessment involves putting on earphones and listening to a series of sounds. In order to detect the depth of your hearing loss, the hearing specialist will play the tones at various pitches and volumes.

In order to make sure you hear sounds correctly, another hearing test plays words in one ear and you will repeat them back. In some cases, this test is intentionally done with background noise to find out whether that affects your ability to hear. In order to get an accurate measurement for each side, tests are performed on each ear separately.

What do Hearing Test Results Indicate?

Ultimately, an ordinary hearing test identifies whether a person 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 find out if the hearing loss is:

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

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

Do Hearing Tests Determine Anything Else?

Other hearing tests can determine 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.

Other health problems can also be revealed by a hearing exam like:

  • Otosclerosis, which if caught early can sometimes be reversed.
  • Heart and circulation issues. The inner ear has one blood vessel, which makes it more susceptible to alterations in blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Diabetes. It’s thought that high levels of sugar in the blood can injure blood vessels like the one that goes to the inner ear.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. Research reveals that people with RA are as much as 300 percent more likely to have hearing loss.
  • Severe headaches and pain in the joints caused by Paget’s disease.
  • Meniere’s disease and other issues with dizziness and vertigo.

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

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

You can try to find ways to safeguard your health and take care of your hearing loss once you discover why you have it.

The hearing professional will also examine the results of the exam to identify risk factors caused by your loss of hearing and come up with a preemptive plan to minimize those risks.

What Are The Risks of Neglecting Hearing Loss?

Medical science is beginning to understand how hearing loss affects a person’s health and quality of life. Researchers from Johns Hopkins monitored 636 individuals over 12 years. They found that an increased risk of dementia comes with hearing loss. The risk increases with more substantial hearing loss.

Double the risk of dementia comes with moderate hearing loss, based on this study. A moderate loss means three times the risk, and severe hearing impairment raises the risk by five.

Also, social decline is apparent in those with loss of hearing. People who have difficulty following discussions will avoid having them. That can lead to more alone time and less time with family and friends.

A hearing test could explain a recent bout of fatigue, also. The brain works to interpret sound, so you can understand what you hear. It needs to work harder to detect and interpret 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 loss of hearing and depression, especially, when left untreated, age related loss of hearing.

Treating hearing loss, with hearing aids or other hearing technology, can mitigate or even eliminate these risks, and a hearing test is the first step for proper treatment.

A pain free way to learn about your hearing and your health is a professional hearing test so schedule your appointment today.