Audiology & Hearing Care of SWFL - Bonita Springs, FL

Image of woman getting hearing test with the results superimposed.

Invaluable information about your state of health is offered 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?

What is a Hearing Exam?

There are different types of hearing tests, but the standard examination involves putting on headphones and listening to a series of tones. The hearing professional will play these tones at different volumes and pitches to determine whether you have hearing loss, and if so the severity of the loss.

Another typical hearing test includes listening to words in one ear and repeating them back to make certain you were able to interpret sounds correctly. To find out what kind of sounds affect your hearing, background noise is sometimes added to this test. In order to get a proper measurement for each side, tests are performed on each ear separately.

What is The Meaning of Hearing Test Results?

Whether a person has loss of hearing, and the extent of it, is what the standard hearing test determines. Normal hearing in adults with minor loss of hearing is 25 decibels or less. From there, hearing experts gauge hearing loss as:

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

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

What Else do Hearing Tests Evaluate?

Other hearing tests can evaluate 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.

But hearing tests can also uncover other health problems including:

  • Severe headaches and pain in the joints caused by Paget’s disease.
  • Diabetes. Damaged blood vessels, like the ones in the inner ear, can theoretically be harmed by too much sugar in the blood.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. Hearing loss is 300% percent more likely in people with RA..
  • Heart and circulation issues. The inner ear has one blood vessel, and that makes it more susceptible to changes in blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • And, Otosclerosis, which if diagnosed early enough, has the possibility of being reversed.
  • Meniere’s disease and other issues with dizziness and vertigo.

The information from the hearing test can be used by the specialist to figure out if you suffer from the following:

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

After you discover why you have hearing loss, you can try to find ways to deal with it and to take care of your overall health.

A preemptive strategy to minimize the risks caused by loss of hearing will be put together by the professional after examining the results of the test.

What Are The Risks of Ignoring Hearing Loss?

Medical science is beginning to understand how quality of life and health are impacted by hearing loss. Researchers from Johns Hopkins monitored 636 individuals over 12 years. They found that an increased risk of dementia comes with hearing loss. The risk gets higher with more substantial hearing loss.

According to this study, a person with mild loss of hearing has 2 times the risk of dementia. A moderate loss means three times the risk, and severe hearing impairment increases the risk by five.

Also, social decline is evident in those with loss of hearing. People who have trouble following conversations will avoid engaging in them. That can lead to more time alone and less time with friends and family.

A hearing test could clarify a recent bout of fatigue, also. In order to comprehend what you hear, the brain has to do work. When there is loss of hearing, it will have to work harder to pick up on 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 loss of hearing, specifically, when left untreated, age related loss of hearing.

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

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

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.