More Than Loss of Hearing Can be Detected by a Hearing Test

Image of woman getting hearing test with the results superimposed.

Hearing tests give important insights into your health. Hearing tests can potentially uncover other health problems because the ears are so sensitive. What will a hearing test tell you about your health.

A Hearing Exam, What is it?

Out of the many kinds of hearing exams, putting on headphones and listening to a series of tones is the basic examination. In order to detect the depth of your hearing loss, the hearing expert will play the tones at various volumes and pitches.

Another common hearing exam involves listening to words in one ear and repeating them back to make certain you are able to interpret sounds accurately. Sometimes, this test is purposely done with background sound to see whether that affects your ability to hear. Tests are commonly done in each ear separately to get a proper measurement for each side.

What do Hearing Test Results Mean?

Ultimately, a common hearing test determines whether a person has hearing loss and the extent of it. Adults who have minor hearing loss, 25 decibels or less, are considered to have normal hearing. From there, hearing specialists gauge hearing loss as:

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

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

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 examinations can also uncover other health problems like:

  • Otosclerosis, which if diagnosed early can possibly be reversed.
  • Heart and circulation issues. The inner ear has one blood vessel, and that 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 including 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.
  • Paget’s disease, which can cause extreme headaches and pain in the joints and bones.
  • Dizziness, vertigo, and other problems related to Meniere’s disease.

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

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

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

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

If You Ignore Hearing Loss, What Are The Risks?

Medical science is starting to recognize how quality of life and health are affected by hearing loss. Researchers from Johns Hopkins examined 636 individuals over 12 years. They found that people with hearing loss have an increased risk of dementia. The risk increases with more substantial hearing loss.

According to this study, someone with mild loss of hearing has 2 times the risk of dementia. Three times the risk comes with moderate hearing loss and five times the risk with severe hearing loss.

Also, social decline is evident in people with hearing loss. People who have trouble hearing discussions will avoid having them. That can lead to more alone time and less time with family and friends.

A hearing test might explain a recent bout of exhaustion, also. The brain works to interpret sound, so you can understand what you hear. It has to work harder to perceive and translate sound when there is hearing loss. Your left feeling tired all the time as your other senses are robbed of energy.

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

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

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

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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.