Image of woman getting hearing test with the results superimposed.

Important information about your state of health is provided by a hearing test. Because ears are so sensitive, hearing tests can potentially detect early signs of other health problems. What will you discover from a hearing assessment?

A Hearing Test, What is it?

Out of the many varieties of hearing tests, putting on headphones and listening to a series of tones is the basic assessment. In order to discover the depth of your hearing loss, the hearing professional will play the tones at different volumes and pitches.

Another typical hearing exam consists of listening to words in one ear and repeating them back to make sure you are capable of interpreting sounds correctly. In some cases, this test is intentionally done with background sound to find out whether that affects your hearing. Tests are commonly done in each ear individually to get a proper measurement for each side.

What do Hearing Test Results Mean?

Ultimately, a standard hearing test identifies whether a person has hearing loss and the extent of it. Adults with minor hearing loss, 25 decibels or less, are considered to have normal hearing. Using this test specialist can figure out if the hearing loss is:

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

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

What Else do Hearing Tests Evaluate?

Other hearing tests can measure 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 distinctly when background noise is present.

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

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

The hearing specialist will take all the information uncovered by hearing tests and use it to determine whether you have:

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

After you recognize why you have loss of hearing, you can look for ways to deal with it and to take care of your general health.

The hearing professional will also look at the results of the examination to determine risk factors caused by your hearing loss and come up with a preemptive plan to lessen those risks.

If You Ignore Hearing Loss, What Are The Risks?

Medical science is beginning to recognize how quality of life and health are affected by hearing loss. 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 gets higher with more significant hearing loss.

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

Also, social decline is apparent in those with hearing loss. People who have difficulty hearing discussions will avoid having them. Less time with friends and family and more alone time can be the result.

A recent bout of exhaustion may also be explained by a hearing test. The brain works to interpret sound, so you can comprehend what you hear. When there is hearing loss, it will have to work harder to perceive sound and interpret it. Your left always feeling tired because your other senses are robbed of energy.

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

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

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