Hearing Test Online

If in Doubt, Why Not Take an Online Hearing Test?

It seems there are few tasks that can’t be performed over the internet these days and it even appears that it is now possible to undergo a hearing test online. If you suspect that your ears may not be performing as well as they once did, you are certainly not alone.  A report by the World Health Organisation suggests that about one in twenty people worldwide are similarly affected, and the number is growing. Sadly, many of these have failed to acknowledge their difficulties when they first became apparent and have allowed their hearing to deteriorate to the point where it has become disabling.

While those who live alone are often genuinely unaware of their impairment, others often choose to remain in denial or are too embarrassed to consult a specialist. The answer, in each case, could be to take a hearing test online. Although it is obvious that this form of testing cannot be as comprehensive and precise as an audiogram conducted by a registered audiologist, it will be quite sufficient to detect any departure from the norm that might warrant further investigation. More to the point, perhaps, if the results should confirm what you may already suspect, you need no longer fear that you might be wasting a specialist’s time. Instead, because hearing loss tends to be a progressive process, you will be well-advised to arrange an appointment with an ENT doctor or an audiologist, and get help before your condition can worsen.

If you should decide to take a hearing test online, the process is free, quite straightforward, and will only take a few minutes. Our online test begins by entering your date of birth and choosing in which of the official South African languages you prefer to conduct the test. The next step is to indicate those situations in which you have experienced problems and includes scenarios such as watching TV, talking on the phone, or trying to converse in noisy environments. Just select those that apply and you’re ready to start. Before you do, though, make sure that you are somewhere quiet where you will not be disturbed by background noises.

Clicking a button will indicate that you are ready and simultaneously start the online hearing test which begins by offering the choice of using earphones or your PC’s speaker, while strongly recommending the former. What follows is a series of number recognition tests. In each case, three random digits are repeated at differing volumes and against a background of static interference. The objective, in each case, is to type the three digits that you believe you heard into the space provided and then click a button to select the next group of numbers.

Upon completing these steps, you will then need to provide your name and contact details, and give your consent to be contacted in order to view the result of your hearing test online. Your result will be expressed in the form of a numerical score and is displayed together with the average score for a person of your age, so that you can compare the two. So, for example, if the average for your age may be 48 and your score is significantly lower, then it will definitely be worth your while to arrange for a more complete examination by a specialist.

Once you have completed the online procedure, completing a short questionnaire can help you decide how important it might be to take remedial action and the possible consequences if you should decide not to do so. This remains your choice and use of the Ear Institute’s online hearing test facility carries no obligation to accept or to act upon its findings or recommendations.

Bear in mind, this simple internet application is intended for screening purposes only. In practice, its findings fall well short of the detailed information required by a specialist to determine how best to manage the auditory impairment that the findings may hint at. An audiogram is a standardised procedure that is conducted under controlled conditions and is designed to examine the performance of each ear independently. The resulting graph, combined with tests to differentiate between conductive and sensorineural hearing loss, provides information that is vital to the successful management of auditory impairment, but cannot be determined from the result obtained when conducting this rather basic form of online hearing test. However, don’t underestimate its value for screening purposes. This quick and simple procedure could change your life.

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