People today have embraced a DIY approach to many things, from home maintenance to healthcare. Part of this is that we are busier than ever, so finding the time to seek out and then see a professional about an issue is daunting. The other reason is that many people today want to take control of their information, especially where their health is concerned. This has lead to a rise in home-based health tests, from drug and disease screens to blood pressure tests, and -you guessed it – hearing tests. But is a home hearing test really worth it? Read on for some pros and cons to doing a home hearing test, but keep in mind that with this (like with all things), doing a test at home will never replace the knowledge and care that a good professional audiologist can provide.
What Are The Cons to a Home Hearing Test?
There is a range of online hearing test products available, and they are not all created equal. Some might be able to accurately determine your hearing threshold and determine the degree of hearing loss, but many will not be that sensitive. This could result in you having a false sense of security if a test (incorrectly) says your hearing is fine. This is especially true with speech, as most tests only measure your ability to hear a tone, not your ability to distinguish words correctly. Even if the test can accurately determine that you have hearing loss, it will not be able to pinpoint the cause of the hearing loss. If the hearing loss is because of a foreign object or build-up of wax in the ear or because of a processing disorder in the brain, the online test won’t be able to tell the difference. Finally, an online hearing test only measures hearing. It does not assess the health of your ears, the state of your bone structure, and other crucial elements of hearing health that an audiologist checks.
What Are The Pros to a Home Hearing Test?
The biggest pro of a home hearing test is pretty obvious: you can do it at home! Not only is this more comfortable for most people, but the convenience of it allows them to get to an important health screening more quickly than they might otherwise. Most people take an average of seven years to finally get to an audiologist once they suspect hearing loss. If you can quickly and easily take a test in your home, to check your suspicions, you are more likely to do. While some of the available home tests aren’t as good as we’d like yet, many are getting there, and they can even estimate the degree of hearing loss. As they continue to be fine-tuned and tested, they will continue to improve. Either way, if you do a hearing test, and it indicates any degree of hearing loss, you should make an appointment to have your hearing professionally checked.
Contact Bay Area Audiology Today!
If you are concerned about hearing loss or seeking hearing evaluations, tinnitus evaluations, or hearing aid assistance, our doctors are ready to help. We are passionate about helping all of our patients improve their quality of life through better hearing. We also believe that patient education is critical, so you won’t be lead through endless sales pitches at our office. If you are interested in hearing how we can help you hear even better, contact us at (410) 941-3826 or online. For more hearing tips and articles, follow Bay Area Audiology on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.