The Role of Online Hearing Tests

You can do a lot of things online these days. Even test your hearing.

Though it is not a replacement for a full diagnostic hearing session with an audiologist, an online hearing test can be useful. Especially in the case of someone just starting to admit to hearing loss who may need a little nudge to get them off the fence and into a professional’s office.

One aspect of online hearing tests that is very useful is the ability to take them regularly and create a long-term record of hearing function. This can alert someone to a consistent initial decline in their hearing and produce a dynamic that gets them to seek help. Likewise, a temporary hearing issue caused by allergies or illness might be confirmed when hearing function returns to “normal” over the course of testing.

When recovering from an exposure event involving very loud noise—an accident, attending a concert, or forgetting to use ear protection—a series of online tests can confirm that the damage was temporary and hearing is returning to normal (if that is the case).

There are two types of tests available, calibrated and non-calibrated.

Non-calibrated tests are less sophisticated and use volume level to track the ability to hear in loud environments and the basics of speech recognition. Calibrated tests track hearing across different frequencies and create an audiogram, a graph that visualizes the ability to hear at different pitches.

Most major brands of hearing aids have online hearing tests as part of their web pages, including Oticon and Signia.