What are online hearing tests?
Simply put, an online hearing test comes in one of two forms: a quiz-based screening and a series of recordings with varying levels of background noise. Quizzes will tend to discuss hearing ability and general health, as well as any family history that might play a significant role in hearing loss (such as tinnitus).
Online recording-based tests tend to be more in-depth. In general, sounds will be played against background noise, and then the test will check to determine your level of understanding. It may be that a word is spoken, then you will be asked to select a photo or description that best matches it.
Do they work?
Naturally, any online test is no real replacement for the expertise and equipment that a trained audiologist can provide. However, they are not entirely without merit!
Although it is always highly recommended to consult with an audiologist or healthcare professional, an online test may give some indication as to whether or not you suffer from hearing loss.
The National Health Service lists the following conditions as key markers of onset hearing loss:
- difficulty hearing or understanding people over the phone
- difficulty hearing or understanding what people say, especially in noisier environments
- needing a higher volume of music or TV than other people
- finding it tiring or stressful to concentrate on what people say
If you have any of the above conditions, then an online hearing test can give you some idea of whether you should pursue further diagnosis and treatment.
How should I prepare for an online hearing test?
It’s important to ensure that before you take a test, adequate provisions are made. This is to ensure the best possible accuracy and to avoid misdiagnosis. The following simple steps can help you get better results:
- Ensure that you’re in a quiet area away from distractions or noise
- Make certain that your computer volume and speakers are at a reasonable level.
- Always guarantee that they’ll be no interruptions: if there are, you may need to retake the test.
- You should always use headphones, otherwise, the test results may be inaccurate.
Hear4U’s very own online hearing test is set for release in October! In the meantime, you can try the online test from hearing aid manufacturers Phonak here to give yourself a check-up. Always bear in mind, though, that any online will never be able to match the accuracy and meticulousness of a real test. If you’d like to book a full hearing test at one of our clinics, then simply click here today!