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Why It’s Important to Have a Baseline Hearing Test Today!

Baseline Hearing Test

Getting a baseline hearing test may not always rank at the top of your to-do list, but it offers you the opportunity to take control of your hearing. A baseline hearing test or baseline audiogram is designed to provide a reference point for future hearing tests. This essential test will be what all future tests can be compared — allowing your audiologist to determine if your hearing has changed since the baseline hearing test was performed.

Although most people are proactive about scheduling their annual dental checkup and annual eye exam, most of us do not approach the baseline hearing test with the same vigor. However, we should, and the following information explains why the baseline hearing test is important.

A Baseline Hearing Test Can Pinpoint Potential Long-Term Hearing Dangers

Among the questions you will be asked during a baseline hearing exam is something like, "What are some common noises you hear every day?" While you might not associate common sounds like a car engine or barking dog with hearing loss, an audiologist can alert you to hearing dangers such as:

  • Heavy traffic noise
  • Sounds from construction sites
  • Music from headphones turned up too high
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    Loud public areas like dance clubs or even sports bars

The more specific you can be in describing the daily sounds you hear, the more precise the recommendations your audiologist will be able to be in regards to ways to protect against hearing loss.

A Baseline Test Can Reveal Ear Issues Apart From Hearing Loss

Hearing abnormalities can signify dangers to your health that might otherwise go unnoticed. Two of the most potentially concerning are:

How Are Your Ears and Heart Connected?

Similar to your heart — your ears are made up of many tiny, sensitive blood vessels. When a hearing exam shows hearing loss without other obvious explanations, it may be the sign of a blood flow issue.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Audiology, authors Stacy R. Kerschen and Raymond H. Hull explored research conducted over a 60 year period on heart health and its influence on hearing. Their findings confirmed impaired heart health had a negative effect on both central auditory symptoms and peripheral symptoms.

How Is Dementia and Hearing Connected?

While the reasons behind it are still not entirely clear, there is a connection between hearing loss and dementia. If you have even moderate hearing loss, there is a potential tripled risk of developing dementia. Studies have also suggested a hearing aid might somehow slow or even reverse the associated cognitive decline.

Other ear issues that may come to light during a baseline exam include:

  • The discovery of a previously unknown foreign object in the ear
  • The revealing of skin cancer or other dermatological abnormalities during the examination of the ear

Any Future Hearing Loss Can be Compared to the Baseline Results

You wouldn't go into a dentist office and struggle to answer questions about how many teeth you had or when you lost them. If you have regular dental exams, they will have X-Rays and a history of any tooth loss.

However, if you don't have a baseline hearing test, you won't be able to accurately inform an audiologist about when or how much hearing loss you have experienced. The audiogram produced by a hearing test covers not only general auditory performance, but it can help point to the specific type of problem causing the hearing loss. The most common causes of hearing loss are:

  • Auditory processing disorders in which the brain is unable to process or becomes confused when attempting to process sounds.
  • Conductive hearing loss, which occurs due to a structural problem like earwax or bone deformity that prevents sound from properly being conducted through the ear canal.
  • Sensorineural hearing loss, which results from damage to auditory nerves from diseases, loud noises, or aging processes
  • Mixed hearing loss, in which both conductive and sensorineural types are present

Being able to compare audiograms from a baseline hearing test throughout the years can show patterns of hearing loss that can lead to more focused and effective treatment.

Contact North Shore Hearing P.C. for Baseline Hearing Tests

The baseline hearing test will make it possible for your local audiologist to know how much — if any — your hearing has changed. And if you've experienced hearing loss, it can affect much more than how you hear. Hearing loss has been repeatedly linked to:

  • Depression
  • Social Isolation
  • Anxiety
  • Frustration
  • Dementia
  • Fatigue
  • And more

Instead of leaving it to chance, it's best to establish a standard with a baseline hearing test, so you can easily know when and how much your hearing has changed.

Best of all, you can schedule a free hearing screening and a baseline hearing test today at North Shore Hearing P.C.

Contact us today to schedule a baseline hearing test.

Diane Faulknor, MA, CCC/A

After 18 years of experience in the field of audiology and hearing aid dispensing, I felt it was time to start my own practice which has led to the creation of North Shore Hearing, P.C. I take pride in the care I provide for my patients as hearing is not just a medical issues we need to deal with, but also the social and lifestyle ramifications that people with poor hearing live with on a day-to-day basis. Based on not only your hearing loss, but also the type of lifestyle you lead, we'll work together to fit you with the most appropriate hearing aid available in today's marketplace.

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