As people grow older, they may experience loss of hearing. In fact, nearly one-third of people above 65 years have some hearing loss. For older adults, hearing loss can negatively affect their quality of life because it can result in social isolation. And if you suffer from any chronic disease, hearing loss can interfere with your ability to properly manage all aspects of your condition, further affecting your quality of life. Therefore, proper screening of your hearing problem ensures early treatment and improved quality of life.
If you keep telling people to repeat themselves, have difficulties hearing high-pitched sounds, or need to raise your TV volume, you should undergo an online hearing test to determine whether you have a hearing problem. The good thing about an online hearing test for older adults is that it’s more convenient, free, saves time, and feels less intimidating than in-person tests.
Here are the most effective hearing tests online used to screen for hearing loss in older adults:
A Short Quiz Test
Online hearing tests begin with a brief questionnaire to gather some basic background information about your hearing. Your audiologist will ask your age and gender since it influences the ideal range to use when evaluating you. For instance, a high-pitched noise can be used to test the hearing capability of a younger person but can’t be used on a 60-year-old adult. Online tests may also want to know how comfortable you are or your hearing ability in noisy situations. The answers you provide will then be used to test your ability to detect different tones and speeches through your computer’s audio setup.
Speech and Noise Tests
These tests check your ability to hear spoken words at different volumes. During the test, you’re required to put on headphones. Then, your audiologist talks to you or plays speech excerpts through the headphones at different volumes. The audiologist records the softest speech you can hear as you repeat the spoken words.
The tests can be conducted with background noises that mimic real-life background conversations or street sounds. This is important because most people with hearing problems have difficulties understanding speech in noisy environments. The test will play soft and loud spoken words with no background noise and then harder, more confusing words with background noises.
These tests involve playing a series of tones through your headphones. Your audiologist will change the volumes and frequencies of the tones at specific points during the test. You will need to respond whenever you hear or detect the tones by pressing a button on your laptop or raising your hand. This identifies the softest sounds you can hear at varying pitches, helping track early-onset or mild hearing loss.
If you’re not sure about your hearing health, undergoing a home hearing test is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to establish whether you have hearing loss. Based on your test results, your audiologist can recommend appropriate treatment or in-person hearing tests to conduct a more comprehensive examination. This way, they can identify the main cause of your problem and provide the best solution to improve your unique hearing difficulties.