Online hearing tests and in-office hearing evaluations play different roles in your ability to assess your hearing health. Learn about the benefits of each test so you can make informed decisions on your journey toward better hearing.
What is an Online Hearing Test?
It’s a screening that evaluates your hearing ability. While there are myths about online hearing tests, most are simplified versions of assessments conducted at audiologists’ offices. Online hearing tests don’t replace comprehensive hearing evaluations but are intended as a tool to determine if you have hearing loss that requires further attention from an audiologist.
The Benefits of Taking an Online Hearing Test
Free and accessible: Most online hearing tests are free of cost, though you may need to fill out a form and contact information before you take the test.
The comfort of home: You can take an online hearing test anywhere, as long as you have internet access, a quiet space and headphones or earbuds. These tests are also helpful if you have a tight schedule and struggle to find time to make an appointment.
Introduction to audiology: Are you nervous about visiting an audiologist? Perhaps you don’t feel ready to discuss your hearing loss with others yet. An online hearing test provides answers to an extent and is a good way to learn what it’s like to have your hearing evaluated.
Retesting: You may take an online hearing test as often as you want. It’s a useful tool to monitor your hearing loss over time to determine if your condition has changed or worsened.
What Happens During a Hearing Evaluation With an Audiologist?
An annual hearing evaluation covers more than an online hearing test. An expert doctor of audiology conducts hearing evaluations and usually begins by discussing your medical history, hearing health concerns and symptoms.
Audiologists require a complete picture of your physical and mental health to determine the cause of your hearing loss. Your audiologist will examine your ears to check for excess earwax, infections and other blockages.
You’ll wear headphones in a soundproof booth and listen to sounds and words at different volumes and pitches to assess your hearing ability. The test results are called an audiogram and provide a graph showing how well you perceive different decibel levels. Your audiologist will review your results to determine the most appropriate treatment.
Why You Should Schedule an In-Office Hearing Evaluation
Thorough testing: In-person hearing evaluations are designed to reveal the cause, type and degree of your hearing loss. That gives you and your audiologist a detailed assessment of what’s happening inside your ears and brain, which does most of the hearing. That allows your audiologist to prescribe a personalized hearing treatment plan.
Health concerns: Poor hearing health can stem from various hearing loss comorbidities. It’s also linked to an increased risk for cognitive issues, such as dementia, memory loss and Alzheimer’s. A hearing evaluation helps your audiologist assess the connection between your hearing health and other ailments you might not have discovered otherwise.
Professional support: Audiologists do more than administer hearing evaluations. They provide valuable advice and services to help you progress toward better hearing. Your audiologist may recommend hearing aids and other personal amplification devices, aural rehabilitation and lifestyle changes to improve your hearing and well-being.