Hearing loss is a common condition that can affect people of all ages and have a significant impact on one’s quality of life. While there are many free online hearing tests available, it is crucial to understand that these tests are not a substitute for a comprehensive hearing evaluation performed by an audiologist.
What does an audiologist do?
Audiologists are trained professionals who are trained and knowledgeable in the identification, diagnosis, and treatment of hearing disorders. They have access to advanced testing methods and equipment to provide an accurate assessment of one’s hearing ability.
Audiologists can also offer personalized recommendations and hearing loss solutions including hearing aids, assistive listening devices, speech therapies, auditory rehabilitation, and other interventions based on a patient’s specific needs and preferences.
Regular check-ups with an audiologist can help identify hearing problems early on and prevent further hearing damage to your hearing.
How Accurate Are Online Hearing Tests?
Online hearing tests are growing in popularity because of their accessibility. For most people, online hearing tests serve as a convenient way to check hearing from the comfort of their own homes.
The question is – do online hearing tests work? How accurate are they?
It is important to understand that online hearing tests, no matter how they claim to be accurate, cannot match the accuracy of a comprehensive hearing evaluation conducted by an audiologist.
The integrity of online hearing tests can be affected by various factors such as the quality of the user’s speakers or headphones, the ambient noise in their environment, and even their connectivity to the internet. Online hearing tests have a high chance of producing inaccurate results which could lead to misdiagnosis or incorrect recommendations.
Online hearing tests also do not provide a comprehensive evaluation of a patient’s overall hearing health. It cannot identify underlying conditions such as tinnitus, sound sensitivity, ear infections, ear wax buildup, Meniere’s disease, or other issues that may be affecting hearing.
Only an audiologist can provide a thorough and accurate evaluation of a patient’s hearing ability and recommend appropriate interventions based on their individual needs.
Types of Hearing Tests
There are several types of hearing tests to detect different types of hearing issues. Below are some of the most common hearing tests that can be performed by an audiologist:
- Pure-tone audiometry:
- The most common hearing test
- Measures the ability to hear different pitches (frequencies) and volumes (intensities)
- Speech audiometry:
- Evaluate the ability to hear and understand speech at different volumes
- Measures the movement of the eardrum in response to air pressure changes
- Can help identify problems with the middle ear
- Auditory brainstem response (ABR):
- Measures electrical activity of the brainstem and auditory nerve in response to sound stimuli
- It can help identify hearing loss or other neurological problems
- Otoacoustic emissions (OAEs):
- Measures sounds produced by the inner ear in response to a stimulus
- Can detect damage to the hair cells in the cochlea
- Videonystagmography (VNG):
- Evaluates a person’s balance system by measuring eye movements in response to changes in head position
Each of these hearing tests provides a different set of information about an individual’s hearing ability, which online hearing tests cannot. The results can help audiologists identify the type and degree of hearing loss, and diagnose other hearing-related problems.
Based on the results, an audiologist can recommend appropriate interventions such as hearing aids, assistive listening devices, cochlear implants, bone anchored hearing aids, or refer the patient to another specialist for further testing and treatment.
Hearing Tests in Abilene, TX
While online hearing tests may be convenient and accessible, they should not be used as the sole basis for identifying hearing loss or other auditory problems.
It is essential to consult with a qualified audiologist for a comprehensive evaluation of your hearing health.
Abilene Audiology Co. offers comprehensive hearing tests in Abilene, TX. Contact us today to book an appointment!