Online hearing tests, or tests you take yourself using a computer or smart device, are becoming increasingly popular. Specifically, when it comes alongside the market for “wearables” (smart wireless earbuds). With off the shelf devices available as well. Theses tests can be convenient to take at home and are likely to increase even more.
We will help you navigate the data and insights to these online tests, so you can better understand how to use them when checking for hearing loss.
The Answers you need
We live in an age where technology is booming. Although we have not yet found a way to cure hearing loss, we do have access to more technology than ever before to help cope with the effects of hearing loss.
By spending a brief amount of time using a simple online hearing test, you can asses the suspected hearing impairment and indicate if there is a potential problem with hearing that may need to be examined by a hearing professional.
And the fact is, the impact that hearing loss has on one’s daily life may differ but is certain. Regardless of age, people find the need to hear essential.
Many don’t know when they should check for hearing loss and go far too long without doing so. Many studies have shown the implications of untreated hearing loss, from social isolation to depression and more.
What are the signs you need to have your hearing checked
- Told your speaking too loudly
- Asking people to repeat themselves more frequently
- Do you have to watch people’s mouths when they talk to understand them better?
- Do you find yourself spending more time alone because it’s more challenging to communicate with others?
- Buzzing or ringing in the ears?
- Fail to hear alarms or your phone ringing
- Find it more difficult to hear specific voices in crowded areas no matter your age, your career type, or your daily living environment, hearing loss can occur. If you have the slightest idea that your hearing may be less than par. We advise you to schedule an appointment with one of our highly qualified hearing professional today.
How online hearing tests check for hearing impairment
Most hearing tests will ask a series of questions before having you listen to any tones. The test generally includes a few personal details so the test can produce more relevant and accurate results for you. Once completed, the analysis provides a result and, if necessary, a recommendation to seek a credentialed Audiologist.
Monitoring A person’s Hearing Status Over Time
Online testing can be a great way to keep track of your hearing over time. As someone gets older (more common) or has a fluctuation due to a condition like Meniere’s disease (less common). You could use a self-hearing test to create a “baseline” and compare your hearing to that baseline over time.
Changes to the method of the online hearing evaluation can affect test results. Because of the variability, we recommend keeping the conditions as similar as possible, such as using a computer each time over a phone or tablet (or vice versa), using the same pair of headphones, and taking the test at a similar time in a similar room.
The closer you can replicate the original setup for your baseline test, the more accurate your changes will be over time.
How accurate are online hearing tests
Online testing is accurate enough to give you an overview of your current hearing state. It can not give you a medical diagnosis or identify any root cause or severity of hearing. For this type of information, you would want to see a hearing care professional.
Putting it all together
Aside from telling you what severity of hearing loss you may have, an in-person appointment with an audiologist will include checking your eardrum movement, acoustic reflexes, and several other things that can determine if there is a medical cause behind the hearing loss and if it is treatable. These are the types of things that an online test can simply not do.
As long as you understand the limitations and keep in mind that an online test serves as a guideline, they can still act as an easily accessible, initial, or ongoing evaluation of your hearing.
We at Salem Audiology Clinic, offer a free online hearing test so you can check for hearing loss in the comfort of your own home. However, if you suspect any degree of hearing loss, we suggest scheduling an appointment to see us for a professional hearing test in-person.