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How trustworthy are online hearing tests?

How trustworthy are online hearing tests?

Typically, we start to notice our hearing loss in degrees. We find ourselves asking our loved ones to repeat themselves, we nudge the TV volume up a little more every day and we notice a lot of missed calls on our phones. When we first consider our hearing loss it can seem quite daunting to face the issue. Taking the step to seeing an audiologist can seem like too big of a leap into the unknown. Combine this with the stigmas that unfortunately still swirl around hearing loss, and we can be at risk of letting our hearing deteriorate further by delaying help.

One option people tend to consider is an online hearing test. Although far from perfect online hearing tests can provide you with some insight. If you decide to go down the route of an online hearing test here are some things you should keep in mind.

Understand the limits of online hearing tests:

As previously discussed, online hearing tests can be a good first step in facing your hearing loss. However, they cannot be compared to a highly accurate, in-depth evaluation by an expert audiologist, in a sound treated environment. 

Give preference to tests with real-world scenarios:

A study into online hearing tests and best practices for patient engagement found that online hearing tests that allowed the user to interact with their hearing loss in real world conditions and terms could provide valuable insight into how a user’s hearing would react in everyday situations. This study praised Miracle-Ear and Starkey for their relatable scenarios, such as train stations and cafes where users must tune into conversations and tune out ambient noise. 

These tests have the potential to be a good start point for your hearing loss journey.

While hearing loss can and does affect everyone, regardless of age, sufferers can still feel certain embarrassment surrounding their loss. A lot of this embarrassment is related to a time when hearing aids were clunky, unsightly, and generally a nuisance to wearers. Today’s hearing aid technology has made incredible strides resulting in sleek, minimal devices loaded with impressive Bluetooth and rechargeable capabilities. Today’s hearing aid wearers can proudly flaunt their devices, especially in an era of wireless air pods and listening devices. However, for some patients the benefit to a hearing test that you can do from the comfort of your home and with a level of privacy you are comfortable with can be invaluable.

Avoid the lure of increasing the volume.

It might seem natural to increase the volume while you are doing an online hearing test, but this could potentially skew your results. ReSound have advised users to apply a ‘comfortable’ volume, which is a bit of a grey area as ‘comfortable’ for one person, may not be comfortable for another and may also not be the volume an audiologist would use to accurately test your hearing.

Use this option as a steppingstone.

On average it takes someone with hearing loss 7 – 10 years to seek help and by that stage the loss could’ve deteriorated further. By taking part in an online hearing test, you are taking a step in the right direction of coming to terms with your hearing loss – which is the biggest hurdle you’ll face on your hearing loss journey.

If you would like more information about the right hearing aid for your level of hearing loss please contact us and we would be delighted to help. 

We are happy to help you find a provider close to you, no matter where you are in the world. 

You may also be interested in our article on hearing aid prices, and how to make sure you get what you pay for. 

More on Hearing Aid Prices  Browse Hearing Aids

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