Are you one of those people who think a hearing test is only necessary if there is a problem with your ears? Maybe you’ve notice your family complains when you turn the volume up the TV or sounds seem so mumbled lately. Those are both good reasons to schedule an appointment with a hearing professional. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders reports that around 15 percent of the adults have some hearing loss, many of them seniors. If you have symptoms then it is likely that there is some hearing loss and getting the test done will help you find a solution. What you might not realize, though, is getting screened for hearing loss is a lifesaver because that change in your hearing might indicate something much bigger is affecting your health. Consider four ways a hearing test could save your life.
The Association Between Hearing Loss and Dementia
This is a common link between hearing loss and dementia that scientists have found just recently. The World Health Association (WHO) estimates that by 2050, there may be over 100 million individuals globally suffering from some form of dementia. At the root of this increase is the age-related hearing loss.
Research offered by scientists at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions discovered that people with mild hearing loss, around a 25 decimal decline, increase their risk of developing Alzheimer’s. For every 10 decibels that your hearing drops, the risk increases by 20 percent. The reasoning is complex, but, essentially, the struggle to hear constantly takes a toll on the brain. A hearing test can predict your risk level and help create a solution like a hearing aid to reduce the stress and lower your risk.
Hearing Loss and Heart Disease
Getting a routine hearing exam might save you from a heart attack or even death. Hearing loss is often a symptom of heart disease. The inner ear has a very sensitive network of blood vessels. Even the tiniest change in blood flow, like a poorly functioning major artery, can show up first as hearing loss. If the hearing test indicates a slight decrease, but there doesn’t appear to be any problem with the mechanisms of your ears, the next place to look at blood flow.
Skin Cancer is Often Found During a Hearing Test
A hearing test is an evaluation that goes beyond just the audiometer screening, too. A medical professional will do a physical exam of your ears, too. This location is a difficult to see and where a suspect mole can be easily missed. During the exam of your ears, the physician will look at the skin for signs of lesions or potential cancer growth.
Hearing Loss Can Lead to Depression
The old saying you don’t miss something until it’s gone is very true when it comes to hearing. Even minor hearing loss can bring with it stress and depression. You may not know why you’re struggling to keep up or perhaps you think bad hearing is just part of getting older. You may be afraid of what a hearing test will tell you, too. What if you are going deaf and there is nothing you can do about it? That fear is unwarranted for most. Hearing loss is usually treatable medically or by using a hearing assistance device. Either way, you have more to lose than gain by avoiding this simple test. You are making a choice when you decide to live with your hearing loss instead of getting tested and treated. Now you know it’s a decision that can really cost you.