Why Have Hearing Tests
Why have hearing tests? To answer this, we must first understand how our hearing can be damaged and what treatments can help fix that. We also need to understand what sound is and how our ears work.
How our Ears Work
Sound is created when objects produce waves of energy, called sound waves. Sound waves enter our ears and stimulate small, delicate hair cells in the various canals and sections of the ear. These hair cells convert sound waves into nerve impulses, which our brains interpret as sounds.
When these impulses are functioning properly, the human brain uses them to interpret up to 400,000 different sounds. Healthy hair cells stand upright and are responsive, but as they weaken, they lay down and become less responsive to sound waves. This decreases the level of sound the brain can hear.
Noise can Damages our Ears
The louder and longer a noise is, the more damage it can do. Occasionally, working around loud equipment can cause temporary hearing loss, but consistent or prolonged exposure to that noise could cause permanent damage. A hearing test will help detect if the damage is permanent.
Tinnitus can also occur, which is a constant ringing or roaring sound in the ears. It happens when noise irritates hair cells to the point where they are constantly stimulated.
Medical Conditions can Damage our Ears
While most hearing loss is caused by aging, some losses are a result of an underlying medical condition. Diseases such as diabetes may cause hearing problems, while high blood pressure has been linked to both hearing loss and tinnitus. Many patients are able to relieve their hearing problems by treating medical conditions they didn’t know they had!
Identifying Potential Problems
Much like a vision test, a yearly hearing test allows you to track changes in your hearing and make adjustments as you need them. Your hearing specialist can compare every audiogram you take to the previous one. This allows them to see how rapidly your hearing is changing and alerting them to potential dangers, including earwax buildup and noise-induced hearing loss.
Other Issues with Hearing Loss
When hearing problems are allowed to progress, much more is lost than just the ability to hear. Patients may suffer from anxiety in public situations and become increasingly isolated due to the limitations of their conditions. Hearing loss has also been linked to increased injuries in the elderly, as they are less likely to hear car horns, smoke alarms, and other sounds signaling danger.
Early identification of a mild hearing problem can actually be a good thing, as it allows you to prevent hearing loss from getting worse. For example, you can treat some hearing loss right away with specialty hearing aids, ear plugs, medications, etc.
Mud Creek Medics
Our team of medical professionals perform these tests for numerous clients. These are done in our Testing Clinic, or the Client’s office and also the work site, when required. We bring everything necessary and provide reports upon completion.
To learn more, check out our Hearing Audiology Testing services.