Hearing Associates of Libertyville, IL

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 detect other health concerns because the ears are so sensitive. What will you learn from a hearing test?

A Hearing Test, What is it?

There are various kinds of hearing tests, but the basic examination involves putting on headphones and listening to a series of tones. The hearing professional will play these sounds at different volumes and pitch levels to figure out whether you have hearing loss, and if so the depth of the loss.

So that you can make sure you hear sounds accurately, another hearing test will play words in one ear and you will repeat them back. To identify what kind of sounds affect your hearing, background noise is often added to this test. Tests are commonly done in each ear individually to get a proper measurement for each side.

What do Hearing Test Results Mean?

Whether a person has loss of hearing, and the extent of it, is what the standard hearing test determines. Adults who have minor hearing loss, 25 decibels or less, are considered to have normal hearing. From there, hearing experts gauge hearing loss as:

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

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

Do Hearing Tests Determine 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 clearly when background noise is present.

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

  • Dizziness, vertigo, and other problems related to Meniere’s disease.
  • Extreme headaches and pain in the joints caused by Paget’s disease.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. Hearing loss is 300% percent more likely in people with RA..
  • Heart and circulation issues. The inner ear has one blood vessel, which makes it more susceptible to fluctuations in blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • And, Otosclerosis, which if diagnosed early enough, has the possibility of being reversed.
  • Diabetes. It’s thought that high levels of sugar in the blood can harm blood vessels including the one that goes to the inner ear.

The information from the hearing exam can be used by the specialist to determine if you suffer from the following:

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

When you recognize why you have loss of hearing, you can look for ways to manage it and to take care of your overall health.

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

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

Medical science is beginning to comprehend 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 people with hearing loss have a greater risk of dementia. The more substantial the hearing loss, the higher the risk.

According to this study, a person with mild hearing loss has twice 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 apparent in those with hearing loss. People who have trouble following discussions will avoid engaging in them. Less time with family and friends and more alone time can be the result.

A hearing test might clarify a recent bout of fatigue, as well. In order to comprehend what you hear, the brain has to do work. It needs to work harder to detect and interpret sound when there is loss of hearing. 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 loss of hearing, particularly, 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 proper treatment.

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

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.
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