Folsom Hearing Aid Center - Folsom and Placerville, CA

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 a hearing test tell you about your health.

What is a Hearing Test?

Out of the many types of hearing exams, putting on earphones and listening to a series of tones is the standard examination. The hearing professional will play these tones at various volumes and pitches to determine if you have hearing loss, and if so the severity of the loss.

Another typical hearing exam consists of listening to words in one ear and repeating them back to make certain you were capable of interpreting sounds correctly. To find out what type of sounds impact your ability to hear, background noise is often added to this test. Tests are often done in each ear individually to get a proper measurement for each side.

What is The Meaning of Hearing Test Results?

Ultimately, a common hearing test identifies whether someone 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 experts gauge hearing loss as:

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

The decibel level of the hearing loss defines the degree of damage.

Do Hearing Tests Determine Anything Else?

There are also test that can determine the viability of structures of the middle ear such as the eardrum, how clearly someone hears with background noise, the threshold of air and bone conduction, and the kind of hearing loss.

Other health issues can also be revealed by a hearing test like:

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

The hearing expert will take all the information uncovered by hearing tests and use it to figure out whether you have:

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

You can look for ways to safeguard your health and manage your loss of hearing once you discover why you have it.

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

What Are The Risk Factors of Neglecting Hearing Loss?

Medical science is starting to realize how hearing loss impacts a person’s health and quality of life. Researchers from Johns Hopkins examined 636 individuals over 12 years. They found that those with loss of hearing have an increased risk of dementia. The risk increases with more significant hearing loss.

Two times the risk of dementia comes with moderate hearing loss, based on this study. 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 people with loss of hearing. People will avoid conversations if they have trouble following them. That can lead to more time alone and less time with family and friends.

A hearing test may clarify a recent bout of exhaustion, too. In order to understand what you hear, the brain needs to do work. It has to work harder to perceive and interpret sound when there is loss of hearing. That robs your other senses of energy and leaves you feeling tired all the time.

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

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

A professional hearing test is a painless and comfortable way to find out a lot about your hearing and your health, so why are you waiting to schedule your appointment?