Get your hearing in check with our online hearing test!
Doggone it! You haven’t had your hearing checked yet? Although you probably have very good reasons for waiting, we’d like to suggest you move it up on your list of priorities this month. In fact, if you have a few minutes, why don’t you take our online hearing test?
Why it’s important to have your hearing checked
We spend a lot of time encouraging you to get your hearing tested. It’s important for a variety of reasons.
You rely on your hearing
If you were born a hearing person, you relied on that sense from an early age. It helped you develop language skills, communicate with your peers and make sense of the world around you. As you age – especially after the age of 60 – your hearing begins to deteriorate. It’s a gradual loss, so you often don’t realize you’ve developed hearing loss until someone like a spouse or coworker calls your attention to it.
The sooner you seek treatment, the better
That’s one of the reasons hearing healthcare professionals want you to get a hearing test at 50 years of age. Even if you don’t have hearing loss, a test will give you a baseline from which to measure future tests. If you’re consistent, hearing loss can be detected – and treated – before your brain has time to forget how to hear. That means you’ll spend less time adjusting to wearing hearing devices and more time enjoying conversations and social gatherings with friends, family and coworkers.
Hearing loss may signal other medical issues
Research has linked hearing loss to a variety of other medical issues such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Untreated hearing loss can also cause the auditory center of your brain to deteriorate causing dementia and Alzheimer’s. Older adults with untreated hearing loss are also at higher risk for developing depression, social isolation and anxiety.
Fortunately, early diagnosis and treatment with instruments such as hearing aids can significantly reduce the risk of many of these medical issues. As a bonus, the majority of hearing aid users are satisfied with their devices and report enhanced quality of life with their use.
How to use an online hearing test
There is certainly no shortage of online hearing tests. Some, like Healthy Hearing’s quick quiz, are scored by answering questions. Others require you to listen to different sounds and tones on your computer. Take your pick, but remember these tips:
- Answer honestly.
- Find a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted, especially if you choose a test with sounds and tones.
- If the screening suggests hearing loss, follow up with a hearing healthcare professional.
- Don’t be tempted to purchase a hearing device from the website directly, no matter how attractive the offer might be. Online hearing test technology isn’t sophisticated enough to recommend treatment based on screening results.
- If you’re having any problems with your hearing, skip the online screening and seek treatment from a medical professional immediately.
What’s the difference between online hearing checks and a hearing evaluation from a hearing healthcare professional?
Online hearing tests typically take about 15 minutes or less and can be completed in the privacy of your own home. These screenings are a great way to see if you might have hearing loss and encourage you to seek professional treatment if you do. They should not, however, be considered a substitute for a medical diagnosis.
When you have a hearing evaluation from a hearing healthcare professional, you can expect a thorough examination with a resulting medical diagnosis. It may include:
- A case history of your specific health information.
- An examination of your ear canal and eardrums with a special light called an otoscope.
- A hearing test in a sound treated test booth. During this test, you’ll wear headphones and listen to a series of differently pitched tones in each ear. Depending on the test, you’ll be asked to respond by pressing a button, raising your hand or repeating speech.
- Assessment of your middle ear function using a test called a tympanometry.
Following the evaluation, your hearing healthcare professional will discuss the results with you and recommend treatment, if necessary.
When should you see a hearing healthcare professional?
It’s not always easy to know when you need to see a medical professional, especially when it comes to your hearing. Here are a few tips for considering when to see a hearing healthcare professional:
- If you are experiencing pain or sudden hearing loss.
- If you develop hearing loss after having the cold or flu, or after taking medication.
- If you suspect earwax may be causing hearing loss.
- At age 50 for a baseline test.
- If your online test indicates you may have hearing loss. Like we said before, these informal screenings aren’t a medical diagnosis. The only way to find out what’s really going on with your hearing is to make an appointment to have your hearing professional evaluated.
About Healthy Hearing’s online test
Our online test is a series of questions designed to provide a basic screening for hearing loss. We added an element of fun by comparing your results to different breeds of dog with similar hearing. We hope this light-hearted approach will give you a general idea of your hearing ability along with fun facts on how our canine friends hear, too.
If you decide to skip the online screening altogether and head straight for a hearing healthcare professional, we’ve got you covered there as well. Visit our online directory to find a hearing center in your community, complete with authentic patient reviews you can trust.