The key to checking your hearing is accuracy. While checking it through online tests might be a convenient and popular alternative as compared to making an appointment with an audiologist, online hearing tests are unlikely to be accurate or reliable to identify the degree of your hearing impairment. They may be able to give you an overview of your current hearing state in the environment you took the test in, but they cannot give or offer you a medical diagnosis or in-depth analysis of your hearing.
Like many others who are interested in getting to know how good their hearing is these days in the convenience and comfort of their homes, you are not alone. But here are 3 factors that explain why visiting an audiologist is more effective and efficient in determining whether you require a hearing aid or not.
Sound treated environment
The environment of where the hearing test is being conducted affects what the user will hear. In a normal room at home where a sound is made, it might cause ringing, echo, or other unwanted sound reflections within the four walls. As a result, a signal that could be heard by normal hearing might not be heard by the user during the test.
Professional audiology clinics are equipped with sound rooms to create an environment that is sufficiently quiet for accurate hearing tests. There, users will not be disturbed by unnecessary noises in the background to receive an inaccurate measure of their hearing.
No matter where you are, everyone has different computer sound settings, quality of the speakers and headsets which makes it impossible to tell what volume or frequencies of sound they are listening to.
Online hearing tests are normally completed through a headset which only measures the hearing system through a pure tone that enters the ear canal, which is also known as “air-conduction testing”. But in cases where there is a problem in any part of the ear, air-conduction testing is only part of a comprehensive hearing evaluation which can only be done at audiology clinics.
Bone conduction test
A bone conduction test is a mandatory in all proper hearing assessments to determine “where” the hearing loss is located in your ears. This testing can only be done with specialised equipment that is completed by using a specialised headset that can measure sound which is transmitted through your skin and bone at the back of your ear. This cannot be done through online remote hearing assessments as it is not available for home computer systems.
A comprehensive hearing assessment conducted by a professional audiologist in a sound treated environment will ensure accurate results as compared to an online hearing assessment which only covers a general overview of your hearing. The 3 factors mentioned above make online hearing tests even more inaccurate as they claim. If a hearing aid is purchased wrongly and fitted on such test results, it can never be fitted accurately and might even cause more damage to your hearing in the long run.
If you believe you are in need of a hearing test, call and schedule an appointment with us today.