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Image of woman getting hearing test with the results superimposed.

Hearing tests supply important information about your health. Hearing tests can potentially uncover other health issues because the ears are so sensitive. What will a hearing assessment tell you about your health.

A Hearing Exam, What is it?

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

Another common hearing test includes listening to words in one ear and repeating them back to make certain you are capable of interpreting sounds accurately. To identify what kind of sounds affect your ability to hear, background noise is often added to this test. To be able to get an accurate measurement for each side, tests are performed on each ear individually.

What is The Significance of Hearing Test Results?

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

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

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

What Else do Hearing Tests Evaluate?

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

Other health problems can also be revealed by a hearing examination such as:

  • Meniere’s disease and other issues with dizziness and vertigo.
  • 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.
  • Diabetes. It’s believed that too much sugar in the blood can damage blood vessels including the one that feeds the inner ear.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. Research reveals that people with RA are as much as 300 percent more likely to have hearing loss.
  • Heart and circulation issues. The inner ear has one blood vessel, and that makes it more sensitive to changes in blood pressure and cholesterol.

The hearing expert will take all the insight revealed by hearing exams and use it to figure out whether you have:

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

When you recognize why you have loss of hearing, you can try to find ways to manage it and to take care of your general health.

The hearing expert will also look at the results of the exam to identify risk factors caused by your hearing loss and come up with a preemptive plan to decrease those risks.

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

Medical science is beginning to comprehend how hearing loss impacts a person’s health and quality of life. Researchers from Johns Hopkins kept track of 636 individuals over 12 years. They found that a greater risk of dementia comes with loss of hearing. The risk increases with more significant hearing loss.

Twice 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 loss of hearing.

There is evidence of social decline with hearing loss, as well. People who have trouble hearing 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. 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 perceive sound and translate it. 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 depression and hearing loss, particularly age-related hearing loss when it is left untreated.

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

An expert hearing test is a pain-free and safe way to determine a lot about your hearing and your health, so why are you waiting to schedule your appointment?