Worried about your hearing? You might have seen that some websites are now offering online hearing tests to check whether you have any problems. Unfortunately, these hearing tests don’t work, and we cannot recommend them. Here’s why:
Are Online Hearing Tests Accurate
How Do Online Hearing Tests Work?
Online hearing tests are simple. You’ll hear a series of tones to each ear to check which frequencies you can hear and at what volume you can hear them.
Some tests personalise your results by asking personal questions about you. For example, knowing how old you are will help a test decide if it thinks reduced hearing at some frequencies is a natural problem caused by aging, or something else.
These questions help the test personalise your results and aim to increase both the accuracy and the relevance of the advice you receive. Unfortunately, as we’ll see in the next section, this is not enough to make taking an online test worthwhile.
4 Reasons Why You Should Skip An Online Test And Visit An Audiologist
Online hearing tests are getting more sophisticated, but several unavoidable shortcomings mean you are always better off visiting an expert. At worst, these online tests may mask a problem with your hearing and delay your diagnosis and treatment.
1. Online Tests Only Measure One Aspect Of Your Hearing
Online hearing tests are relatively unsophisticated, measuring just one aspect of your hearing. Is the problem in your ear canal? Or the auditory nerve? Or is it just a build-up of wax? It’s impossible to tell without in-person testing.
Additionally, an online test cannot spot physical symptoms in the ear which may develop to cause a problem if left untreated. An audiologist can spot these warning signs, but they may not reduce your hearing enough for an online hearing test to find a problem.
2. An Online Test Can’t Provide a Diagnosis or Treatment
Even if an online test identifies a potential problem, it cannot provide a diagnosis, find the cause of the problem, or assess your treatment options with you. There’s no solution at all, which means you’re going to need to see an audiologist to receive treatment.
3. Sound Crossover May Hide a Hearing Problem
Audiologists use sophisticated equipment to check your hearing; your personal headphones are unlikely to meet the same standards. One common problem is that crossover while using headphones means you hear a sound with your ear not being tested – this might lead to a pass on an online test even if you have a problem with one ear.
4. Online Tests Can’t Provide Proof of Hearing
You don’t just need a hearing test when you have a problem; you may need to check your hearing to prove that you are suitable for a particular job or activity. For example, many pilot licenses and commercial driving licenses specify certain standards of hearing. An online hearing test is not sufficient to provide proof in these situations.
What Does an Audiologist Do That an Online Test Doesn’t?
When you visit an audiologist, you’ll receive a far more comprehensive hearing test than you would online. Not only does an audiologist have advanced training, but they also have access to specialist equipment.
For example, they can provide the correct conditions for an accurate test to establish a baseline measurement of your hearing – the amount of background noise in the average home makes this impossible to do accurately.
The audiologist will:
- Consider your medical history and any current conditions.
- Physically examine your ears using an otoscope.
- Go beyond hearing – an audiologist can help diagnose the cause of frequent ear infections, address balance issues, and inspect earwax build-up for problems.
- Provide precise diagnosis and treatment.
When Should You Book In With An Audiologist?
You should book an appointment if you or your friends or family have noticed an issue with your hearing. Common issues include regularly speaking too loudly, having to turn up the volume on the radio or television higher than before, and having problems concentrating on voices in a noisy room.
Concerned about your hearing? Book an appointment online today.
“Can you say that again?” If this is something you find yourself saying over and over again throughout the day, it might be time to get your hearing tested.
Aside from your friends and family having to repeat themselves, and your difficulty in following conversations, there are a range of signs that indicate hearing loss. In fact, hearing loss can be caused by many different conditions and circumstances, and can manifest in a number of ways.
To make sure you’re ready to tackle hearing loss as soon as it develops, look out for the following 5 signs that you need to get your hearing tested and get to the audiologist as soon as you notice any of them pop up.
1. It Affects You in Social Situations
· You frequently have to ask people to repeat what they say
· You have difficulty focussing on conversations
· People sound like they’re mumbling or speaking softly
· You can’t understand conversations when you’re in a loud environment (e.g. in a crowded café, in a meeting or at a party)
· People complain that you have to the volume on the TV turned up too loud
· People say you speak loudly
· It’s difficult to understand people over the phone
· You don’t notice when your phone is ringing
· You often misunderstand what people are saying
2. It Takes its Toll on You Mentally and Emotionally
· You feel exhausted from straining to hear others
· You get frustrated at people when you can’t hear them properly
· You feel stressed and annoyed at not being able to hear
· You don’t like meeting new people because you’re afraid you won’t understand them
· You get overwhelmed in noisy social situations
· You’re embarrassed by your poor hearing
3. Your Body is Sending You Warning Signs
· You get headaches from straining to hear
· You have ringing in your ears ( tinnitus)
· You can hear better on one side than the other
· You have an earache
· There’s more wax or discharge in your ears than usual
4. You’ve been Exposed to Loud Noise
· You’ve been exposed to loud noise over a long period of time
· You’ve been exposed to a single extremely loud noise, such as an explosion
5. You Have a Medical History that Points Toward Hearing Loss
· You’ve had a viral or bacterial infection in the ear
· Your ear has been damaged
· You’ve experienced physical trauma to the head
· You have a family history of hearing loss
· You take ototoxic medications
· You have a circulatory condition
· You have a thyroid condition
If you’ve noticed any of the above signs and symptoms of hearing loss, it’s time to have your hearing tested at one of our four Hearing And Audiology clinics in Perth. Our professional Perth audiologists can perform hearing loss services like hearing tests, hearing aids for children and adults of all ages. Book in with an audiologist in Perth online or call us on 08 (08) 9388 8003 today.
Hearing tests are an integral part of assessing, and subsequently diagnosing, hearing loss. They can help detect conductive and sensorineural hearing loss, tinnitus relief, SSD, and a range of other conditions that affect hearing. If you don’t have your hearing tested regularly, you risk leaving hearing problems undiagnosed and therefore untreated.
When Should I Get My Hearing Tested?
It’s important to have your hearing tested as soon as you suspect hearing loss may be present. Hearing loss often develops gradually over time, so it can be difficult to pinpoint when symptoms start. However, there are early warning signs that you might be developing hearing loss. If you notice any of the following signs and symptoms, it’s time to book an appointment with Perth audiologist providing hearing loss services and hearing aids.
Book in for a hearing test if there are social indicators such as:
- You’re experiencing tinnitus (loud ringing not coming from an external sound)
- You frequently have to ask people to repeat themselves
- You have difficulty focussing on conversations
- You struggle to isolate voices in loud environments (e.g. in a crowded café or in a meeting)
- You feel tired from straining to hear others
- You struggle to hear the TV or radio at a normal volume
- You feel stressed and annoyed at not being able to hear properly
- You can hear better on one side than the other
- You have trouble understanding people on the phone
- People sound like they’re mumbling
Or if there are medical indicators such as:
- You’ve had a viral or bacterial infection in the ear
- Your ear has been damaged
- You’ve experienced physical trauma to the head
- You have a family history of hearing loss
- You take ototoxic medications
- You have a circulatory or thyroid condition
- You’ve been exposed to loud noise over a long period of time or a single extremely loud noise, such as an explosion
How Often Should I Get My Hearing Tested?
It’s a good idea to get hearing tests routinely throughout your life. If you’ve never had your hearing tested, we suggest you come in for a hearing assessment from one of our audiologists in Perth to establish a baseline test. This baseline test should be carried out as early as possible in your adult life as it comes in handy if you experience any of the above signs of hearing loss and need to have another test. The results of the second test can be compared with the baseline to detect the severity of any hearing loss.
After your initial baseline test, your audiologist will provide advice based on your test results, medical condition and history and let you know when to come back in for a future hearing test. The time period will vary depending on your age and condition.
At Hearing And Audiology, we have the best audiologists in Perth offering range of hearing tests for adults, children’s, pensioners and veterans, tinnitus assessments that are carried out in both quiet and noisy environments so that we can effectively determine particular types of hearing loss and the best hearing course of treatment.
Book an appointment with one of our specialist Perth Audiologists today if you’ve noticed any signs of hearing loss.