Want to know if you have a hearing loss? If yes, the best way is to get a hearing test.
Here we’ll cover:
“… don’t trust everything you read on the internet.”
When was the last time you had your hearing tested?
It can be very difficult to catch on to a gradually declining hearing, as people tend to think nothing is ever wrong with them.
Have a think about it. When was the last time you had difficulties keeping up with a conversation taking place around you?
As you get older, these tests might be a more frequent calendar mark than when you were younger. However, the earlier you catch on, the better it can be treated. Both in terms of getting treatment but also understanding the type of hearing loss you are dealing with.
In this article, you will be able to read about the different hearing tests you can take. From the more indicative ones online to the more thorough and precise ones at the audiologist. You will also understand better when to get checked out and what it costs.
When to get your hearing checked out
Naturally, the degree of testing required differs from person to person. If you were the lead guitarist at your old law school funk band, you might need to be checked a bit more often.
Reversely, if you spend your early years sailing the Caribbean, maybe less frequently. However, there a few key pointers to note when it might be time for you to get checked out.
Most kids get tested sometime during their school days for early hearing difficulties but often lack to get tested afterward. Ideally, people should get a second test around the age of 21. It would make sense to get one after college, as this tends to be a pretty loud period of someone’s life.
After this, one should get checked out every 10 years until the age of 50, where it is ideal to get tested every 3 years thereafter.
It is important to note that the earlier you catch on to a potential hearing disability, the better the chances of treating it and keeping it in check through life. It is strongly recommended that you get yourself sorted in regards to your hearing and do these tests to ensure nothing goes unnoticed.
Online hearing tests as a small first step
So, where do you get a hearing test? In the past, you had to visit a doctor or an audiologist. Now, in the days of the world wide web, you can go a long way just by browsing the internet. You will find a wide selection of different hearing tests that are both more or less independent. As such, all the suppliers of hearing aids provide this online service. However, you can also find smaller, more independent online tests if you feel more comfortable doing that. You will be able to find different types of tests across the internet. From quiz-based tests to noise-based. All of them will indicate whether or not there might be something worth checking further. As all things go, don’t trust everything you read on the internet. These tests are not in any way a final diagnostic and should always be confirmed or checked further. You could argue that this is merely to test the very first signs of reduced hearing.
Follow up with a hearing care professional
The next logical step to the online hearing test should be to get an audiologist appointment. This is a critical follow-up to the online tests, as you will have a more solid result based on more profound data by a hearing loss expert. There should be nothing uncomfortable about this, as a usual hearing exam should involve you, a set of headphones, and an audiometer plugged to do the testing. The room will be completely silent, so you will not get confused by running water or the occasional pigeon squeaking outside. This is called a “pure-tone audiometry,” which only includes listening to the noises at different pitches and volumes. Here, the audiologist will test the lowest sounds you can hear at different frequencies, so you need to keep focused.
Testing hearing through speech audiometry
Some people can easily hear tones at different frequencies and volumes.
However, hearing issues can be more complex, which is more easily detected using speech. As such, it is also highly relevant to conduct a speech audiometry. The set-up of the testing is the same. You. A quiet room. Headphones.
However, rather than listening to simple noises, you are listening to recorded speech. It will be tested how low you can go in terms of volumes, where you need to repeat back what has been said to you.
This is a great technique for testing your overall hearing for any issues and provides indications on a possible hearing aid. Using this, you can pinpoint the most comfortable volumes for listening and the upper volumes for listening comfort.
Testing in more dynamic surroundings
Most people will tell you that they can hear a pin drop in the kitchen when they sit in the living room. However, they cannot keep track of a simple conversation in a crowded room.
Naturally, you can also locate tests designated for these types of hearing conditions. These tests take place in a noisy room. Not Grand Central Station noisy, but enough to throw your focus.
These are the real-world tests, where you are checked for your listening ability in everyday situations. Being at the grocery store or picking up the grandkids in kindergarten.
Cost of getting tested
A hearing test can vary quite significantly in prices. The online tests are mostly free and provide an early – but not final – indication on whether more checks are required. As mentioned, you should always get these confirmed. Getting a physical check at the audiologist is often inexpensive. The big chunk often comes related to the actual hearing aid purchase.
Additionally, most insurances will cover some of the damage linked to a hearing test. Looking at Medicare, this should cover about 80%, but please double-check directly with your insurance provider.
Getting test results can be nervy but fear not. Even with the possibility of hearing loss looming, the advances in today’s hearing aids have become vastly improved over recent years. They are small, more effective, and can provide a high quality of life.
If you’re in doubt that you’ve overlooked anything in your hearing loss research, see our ultimate hearing loss guide.
Go see an expert in hearing loss
Before you head on, please note that it is crucial that you do not trust the online test results solely. They are not diagnostic hearing evaluations, but they can be used as an indicator for further examination. Always go and a hearing specialist to conduct further testing with ANSI-calibrated equipment.