How do you know for sure if you have a hearing loss?
You deserve to live your best hearing life. This brief quiz will point you in the right direction.
The recommendation will be made based on three broad aspects of your hearing:
- Type of Hearing Environments
- The Different Tones You Can Hear
- How Well You Hear Speech in Noise
This hearing quiz gives you a quick, simple snapshot of your general hearing abilities. If the quiz shows you could benefit from further testing, please contact our office for further help.*
*Only a true diagnostic hearing test can accurately gauge your hearing health.
Even the most reliable online hearing test — one that potentially could determine your basic hearing threshold and indicate your degree of hearing loss — can be misinterpreted without the expertise to understand what the findings mean or how and why you have the potential impairment.
For example, a hearing loss could be caused by something as simple as a foreign object in your ear canal, or it could be a sign of issues in the areas of your brain that process sound. In either case, you may be unaware of the underlying problem, but heading to a big-box retailer to buy hearing aids won’t solve it.
Online testing also doesn’t provide the comprehensive evaluation you need for a more complete look at your hearing wellness:
- Some online hearing screenings may use the pure-tone air-conduction threshold test, for instance, in which each ear is played a series of sounds through earphones, and you indicate whether you can hear each respective tone. The test measures the quietest sound you can reliably hear at least 50 percent of the time — the threshold. This important data, however, only scratches the surface. It doesn’t explain how well you hear speech, how well you understand it, or whether the hearing loss is due to an injury in your ear.
- In addition to a battery of important tests that measure elements such as pure-tone air and bone conduction, speech and word recognition, tympanometry and acoustic reflexes, comfortable listening levels, the threshold of discomfort, and more, professional examinations include an inspection of your ears and an intake of your medical and hearing-health history.
The Bottom Line
A reliable home hearing test can serve as an important wake-up call in your hearing health. If you’re on the fence about hearing care, it’s an easy way to find out whether you potentially have hearing loss, which is best addressed by a trained, licensed professional.
Keep in mind, however, that a home hearing test shows you a symptom — it doesn’t pinpoint the underlying problem or provide solutions for your unique needs. An audiologic evaluation gathers nuanced data about not only your auditory system but ways to improve your specific hearing difficulties.
Contact Mission Audiology to request a hearing test with your audiologist in Mission Viejo today!
Your auditory system is complex, and so is the combination of people and environments that creates your unique listening lifestyle. If you’re noticing difficulty communicating in your everyday activities or took an online test that indicated potential hearing loss, don’t wait. Contact our caring team for a comprehensive evaluation today.
Basic Hearing Testing
A basic hearing test is performed in a quiet area (preferably a Sound Booth) with an audiometer, a device that produces various pitch sounds (frequencies) at different levels (intensities). The person responds to the sounds by either raising his/her hand or pushing a button.
Results are then charted on an audiogram, which gives the audiologist an indication of whether hearing is within normal limits or if a problem may exist.
If a hearing loss is detected, more testing can be performed to better define the nature and extent and possible cause of the hearing loss. Each test evaluates a different part of the ear.
Additional diagnostic testing
- Tympanogram – tests the eardrum and the middle ear (the space behind the eardrum).
- Acoustic reflexes – measures the movement of the tiny bones behind the eardrum.
- Otoacoustic emission (OAE) – checks the function of the tiny little “hair cells” in the inner ear.
- Speech testing – evaluates the effect of the hearing loss on understanding speech. Sometimes this is performed in both a quiet and noisy background, using live or recorded voice.
- Auditory Evoked Potentials (ABR) – checks the acoustic nerve function up to and in to the first part of the brain.
- Electronystagmography (ENG) – evaluates the part of the inner ear controlling balance. Usually performed on individuals who experience dizziness or balance problems.
- Auditory Processing Testing (APD/CAPD) – evaluates how the brain perceives or understands what the ear sends. Many times, this test is recommended for children who experience attention or learning problems, or adults who have standard ear function but still have “hearing” difficulty.