From online shopping to online dating and from accessing telehealth to learning a new skill on YouTube, the question is what can’t you do on the internet. In this day and age, you can even get a hearing test online. But are these tests really comparable to the care you get in an audiologist’s office? We answer this below.
What Are Online Hearing Tests & How Do They Work?
Online hearing tests are simplified versions of a comprehensive hearing test that you would undergo in an audiologist’s office, but they can be taken online at home. They work differently based on what website you go through, but most include these steps:
- Filling out a simple form, which may ask for your contact information
- Calibrating the volume of your computer to match the test
- Listening to tones of various frequencies or sentences of various volumes
- Indicating what sounds you can actually hear
- Getting your results either instantly on the website or over email
What Are the Benefits of Online Hearing Tests?
Though the results of online hearing tests are not very detailed, they can detect whether you have some degree of hearing loss and tell you if further testing is needed. If you complete these tests regularly over the course of a few years, they can indicate whether your hearing is worsening.
What Are the Limitations of Online Hearing Tests?
A comprehensive hearing test in an audiologist’s office can indicate the exact cause, type and degree of your hearing loss. Online hearing tests simply don’t offer this much information. You cannot use the results of an online hearing test to program a hearing aid, which is largely the purpose of a comprehensive hearing test conducted by an audiologist.
When Should You See an Audiologist?
If you take an online hearing test and it indicates you have some degree of hearing loss, you should schedule an appointment with an audiologist. If you’re still unsure, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I feel as though others are constantly mumbling?
- Do I ask people to repeat themselves often?
- Do I turn up the TV to a volume that is uncomfortable for others?
- Am I missing certain sounds, like rustling leaves and chirping birds at Golden Gate Park?
- Do I have a hard time understanding the voices of women and children?
- Do I have difficulty following conversations in areas with lots of background noise?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, schedule a comprehensive hearing test at San Francisco Audiology.
For more information about online hearing tests or to schedule a hearing exam, call San Francisco Audiology today.