Hearing loss is widespread throughout the world. In the US, nearly 50 million people are affected by some degree of hearing loss. The accuracy of these numbers can be put to question, though.
It’s hard to consider how many individuals have hearing loss that have never had a diagnosis. To help combat this, many websites now offer online hearing tests. What’s better, many platforms offer online hearing tests for free. If you’ve never had your hearing checked by a professional, and you believe you may struggle with hearing, try out one of these tests.
Signs You Should Take a Hearing Test
Individuals who believe they may have a hearing loss condition have many factors they can look for. One of the first, and most common things to notice, is a struggle to distinguish and understand voices in a loud environment. Although this can be difficult for people without hearing loss, if you’re in a group, and nobody else is having a hard time hearing, it may be a sign that you should check your hearing.
Another key indicator you should take an online hearing loss test is if you notice certain sounds are difficult to hear. For example, if children’s voices, women’s voices, or consonant sounds like “th”, “f”, or “s” are hard to hear, you should get tested. These sounds lie at higher frequencies.
If you have trouble hearing sounds like those, you may have high-frequency hearing loss. An online hearing test checks frequency-dependent hearing loss. The test will play various sounds at different frequency levels to see if you are struggling with hearing loss in specific frequencies.
Other signs that should entice you to get your hearing check include the following.
- Speech and noises sound muffled
- Other’s speech sounds mumbled
- You often have to ask others to repeat themselves
- You have been withdrawing yourself from conversations
- You feel socially isolated
- You have to turn up the volume on the TV, phone calls, etc.
Taking an Online Hearing Test
Whenever you notice one of the signs of hearing loss, it’s time to get tested. If you’re unsure about seeking out medical help, you can find a free online hearing test with no email required. All you need to do is search for an online free hearing test, and you can get quick results that inform you of any lack of ability.
How Online Tests Work
Depending on the provider, an online hearing test plays tones that either run from quiet to loud or the opposite. If the test goes from quiet tones to loud tones, the user will start by clicking certain buttons that play a specific quiet tone.
The user will go through a list as the online test beeps and they cannot hear them. Once the user encounters a sound they hear, even slightly, they stop going down the list. Then, they move on to the next step.
The process is repeated at various frequencies to get a good measure on the full frequency spectrum of hearing. In the end, a model will be created that represents what an audiogram would look like if taken by a professional. Similar to the tone test,
Another common type of online hearing test may play various sounds that incorporate words and then follow up with prompts. The test-takers will have to answer questions regarding the words they heard. This kind of test will check the user’s ability to differentiate voices from sounds.
Other tests may not be as comprehensive. In fact, some online hearing tests may not play any sounds at all. Rather, they simply prompt the user with various questions to get an idea of the user’s condition.
These tests intend to encourage the user to seek further assistance. Providers of this type of online test know that the best thing someone who suspects they have hearing loss to do is to seek professional attention.
Are Online Hearing Tests Accurate?
The accuracy of online hearing tests will always be put into question. As there are countless free online hearing tests, it’s hard impossible to say whether all are accurate or inaccurate.
However, for good measure, it’s better to take these tests to get an indication, not a definite fact, on your state of hearing. These online hearing tests cannot give you a true, accurate diagnosis. Nor can they give you a reason why you have a condition. Rather, if you take a hearing test and receive results that may indicate you have hearing loss, it’s time for you to see a professional.
Only a healthcare professional, like an ENT specialist, can reliably tell you if you have hearing loss. A doctor or specialist will be able to accurately determine your degree of hearing loss. They will be able to tell you what kind of hearing loss you have—moderate, severe, high-frequency hearing loss, etc. Furthermore, doctors can give you greater insight into how you developed hearing loss.
Most importantly, doctors will be able to give you professional advice on the best course of action you should take to correct any hearing condition.
Other Problems with Hearing Tests
When you take a hearing test, you may be in an already noisy environment. Unless you live at home, without much environmental noise around, you likely will not have the correct setting to accurately determine your hearing capabilities.
Since anybody can create an online hearing test, it’s difficult to trust any source. Even well-known companies, like hearing aid providers, may have a biased test as they want individuals to purchase hearing aids.
The Bottom Line
Online hearing tests can prove to be extremely useful for individuals who have never had a hearing test before. They are free, quick, easy, and deliver instant results.
However, the reliability of these tests can be questioned. Anybody can create, publish, and market their online test. Furthermore, the accuracy of online tests is yet to be established. A doctor will certainly be able to give you an accurate reading and measurement of your hearing.