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Why Take an Online Hearing Test?

by Jeff Reynolds

Hearing loss doesn't typically happen overnight. People often start to lose some hearing gradually, and it can take a while before they realise that their hearing isn't as good as it once was.

If you have a nagging suspicion that something isn't quite right, then you may not be sure whether to have a hearing test or not. It may help to take an online test. How do these tests work and what do they tell you?

How Do Online Hearing Tests Work?

While some hearing test providers run online tests in their clinics, you can often take these tests at home on your computer. Typically, you run through a range of auditory tests while wearing headphones.

The options on offer will depend on the test provider. In some cases, you'll simply listen to sounds, noises or conversations in a variety of different scenarios.

So, for example, you may listen to a range of words or numbers spoken out loud in a quiet environment. You'll then listen in a noisy environment, say in a street, shop or restaurant. You then answer questions based on what you could hear during each segment.

More advanced tests add more checks to the mix. You may be asked to give more information on your hearing and any problems you're having. Or, you may take a frequency test. Here, a scale of high-pitched sounds play in each ear to assess whether you can hear at specific frequencies.

At the end of the test, you get a basic hearing assessment. This flags any problems you have. If you take the test via a hearing clinic, you may then be invited to make an appointment for further tests if you do have problems.

Why Take an Online Hearing Test?

Online hearing tests give you a quick and useful preliminary indication of your hearing capabilities. They don't give you an in-depth assessment of your problems; they tell you that your hearing may need further investigation.

If you aren't sure if your hearing is failing, then this can be a good first step. You can find out if you have any common problems in just a few minutes. If you do, you can arrange further checks.

This is also useful if you know someone who obviously has hearing difficulties but who is in denial. They may not want to make an appointment to see their GP or a hearing clinic because they refuse to admit that they can't hear that well. If you can persuade them to take an online test that shows some issues, then they may take action.

To find out more about online hearing tests and what you should do after taking one, talk to a hearing test clinic.