Hearing test: What is a hearing test and can you get it online?
The number of people who have hearing problems but who do not test it, is rather high and it is almost saddening that so many suffer in silence. Even though there are many options of taking free online hearing test, their effectiveness is still in doubt. This is something we at Nano Digital Hearing Aids have seen first-hand when working with veterans on a charitable cause. For some time, the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Diseases NIDCD have researched the growing problem of hearing loss among American adults. The organization already found that in 2011 and 2012 almost 37.5 million Americans will experience hearing loss at some given time in their life. Today, in 2020, this figure is pegged at 48 million, representing staggering trend.
Image: The new rechargeable range from Nano Digital Hearing Aids
As the problem becomes more common, issues concerning hearing loss can be resolved by visiting your local hearing aid specialist, or an audiologist. Although the solution might seem simple, many American adults will still have to struggle with the burden of paying for expensive hearing aids. Additionally, some may find that their insurance won’t cover the costs of the equipment, and will have to pull the money out of their own pockets.
What is a hearing test?
Before heading off to your local hearing aid specialist, you might want to consider the question of what a hearing test is. Professional and scientific research has concluded that a hearing test is the employment of speech, tones and a variety of stimuli to the person. These stimuli are dependent on the person and how they can hear audible sounds. The complexity of this lies in the way the sounds are delivered to the person. Sound or noise is created and delivered via a transducer. The transducer works as a microphone, by receiving high voltage of electrical pulses that moves away from the transducer as soon as it’s received. The process is conducted via the specialized equipment and connected to the audiometry instrument with cables. The whole process works in collaboration with a variety of clinical equipment and software. But as modern technology improves on the daily, so has modern audiology equipment. Professionals are seeing more compact and easy to use equipment that can conduct tests quicker and more accurately.
How accurate are Online Hearing Tests?
The advancement of hearing aid equipment has made it possible that hearing test is subject to online testing. The basic idea is that the person will now be able to conduct a hearing test in the comfort of their own home, without consulting the aid of audiologists or perhaps paying extra money to conduct a test. Although several websites will help with conducting online hearing tests, these aren’t always the most reliable. Chances are that surrounding noise, the quality of the device speaker you’re taking the test on will not be up to clinical standards.
It is quite simple to understand how these online tests would work. The client would be equipped with an audio generator, calibrated to deliver audio signals; the signals would then be transmitted to a programmable hearing device (laptop, iPad or smartphone) and uploaded to an online platform. The fitting would allow the customer to listen to a variety of sounds and audible noises to determine the severity of their hearing. Tests would be browser-based, as the online tests would be conducted by both the customer and also overseen by a customer support team.
Both input and output software for online testing would need to be purchased via a third party or perhaps borrowed. Although the equipment would be able to conduct a variety of audio testing, the factors can influence outcomes and be subject from person to person; as different environments and settings can influence an overall outcome.
Further advancements in online hearing tests would still be needed to ensure tests are more accurate and more accessible to those in need of it.
Where can you get a hearing test?
ASHA, Medline Plus, MedEL, AudioHAC: these are just some of the many services conducting hearing tests. Although hearing aid professionals would suggest that proper and well-informed tests are conducted, the resent development by supermarket giant Costco, has tried to make it easier for members and customers to receive hearing tests. (Read more about Costco hearing aids here). Costco’s Hearing Aid Centers in their stores have opened a path for many people, as they can now be tested by in-house hearing specialists.
The Costco centers offer tests, fittings and maintenance from five different manufacturers and have teamed up to create their in-house hearing aid which can be purchased if needed.
But although the convenience of a Costco Hearing Aid Center would fulfil the needs of many shoppers, those who aren’t frequent members of the store would be more comfortable to visit their local audiologist. An online search for an audiology testing center near you would show a variety of options, and many places make their communication via digital channels through their website.
How Much Does the Hearing Test Cost?
A variety of factors can influence what you will be paying for a visit to the audiologist. Many people would find it easy to reach into their pockets to pay for a hearing test. It would come down to your area of residence, the state which you reside in, whether or not your medical insurance covers these tests and also the center where the test will be conducted.
In general, you will be paying anything from $250,00 to $300,00 for a professional hearing test. These tests are relatively quick and easy, and hearing test results can be used to determine whether or not a person would require a hearing aid.
Many hearing aid centers will communicate additional testing on the spot or would require you to come back for additional testing. Costco Hearing Aid Centers do offer a wide variety of free services, but this comes with added terms and conditions and might sometimes only be limited to members.
Would you be able to get a hearing test for free?
Yes, it is possible to get a hearing test done for free. But this comes with the additional question of whether the results and test will be clinically approved? Online testing has seen an increase in popularity as people are trying to outstep expensive testing costs. It’s difficult to ensure the validity of each free and online test, as different settings will deliver a wider variety of results.
Free hearing tests have its benefits as a person would be able to determine the severity of what their hearing loss may be. Although some additional testing equipment such as a proper device (smartphone, laptop or iPad), would be required as well as headphones. Free testing being somewhat tricky, many audiologists would advise to rather ensure proper clinical testing is conducted.
You are in luck though, as Costco does offer free hearing tests for customers at their in-house Hearing Aid Centers. These in-house testing centers can help people with a variety of free services and also additional customer support. The free testing might be subject to state and also store policies, so it’s a good idea to find out more before you sit in for your test.
How much are hearing aids?
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the specialized testing procedures for hearing tests would be so expensive. For those people who now have to deal with the high price of purchasing hearing aids can budget on hearing aids setting them back almost $3000,00 or more. Health insurance won’t always cover the cost, or pay for additional testing. The best place to start is to understand the different types of hearing aid, then you can consider pricing as a next step.
But latest advancements and more additional research have made it possible for key players to make it easier. MD Hearing Aids is a company that provides quality hearing aids at a fraction of the price, HOWEVER: you should read MD Hearing Aid Reviews first. Their most popular and affordable hearing aid comes in at around $399,99 per pair. As the company boasts with four different models, each with different features, you can expect to look at prices varying between $399,99 to $1599,99 per pair of hearing aids. For peace of mind, off course we would suggest you consider the entire range of NANO Digital Hearing Aids.
Other alternative brands that can also keep costs low are Eargo, Liveley, Kirkland (Costco) and Hearing Assist. It’s important to remember that the price you pay will all be dependent on the severity of your hearing loss. Many devices have a variety of different features, some more well-equipped than others, this can make the hearing aids more expensive.
How do you trust the results?
Can you trust the results of a hearing aid test? Or an free online hearing test? Let’s consider the following: As previously discussed, each person would have a different level of hearing loss severity. The customer must know exactly what a hearing test is and how the testing process works. Audiologists are professionals in their field, and their method of test conduction can help determine the outcomes of your test. Hearing test procedure would always involve you listening to audible stimuli and reacting in a given way. The hearing aid specialist would adjust audible stimuli accordingly and ensure that each outcome given by you can contribute to the final result. It’s important to remember that testing results will help you determine your hearing aid(s) that will be purchased additionally. Hearing tests and hearing aids do come at a very expensive price, making it even more important that you conduct proper clinical tests and purchase the right hearing aids, in correlation to your hearing test results. Nano Digital Hearing Aids exist precisely because we know that people should not get the shock of their lives after a hearing test: they need to be helped quickly, affordably – with high-quality digital hearing aids.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)
Q. How Often One Should Have an Hearing Test?
Ans: According to the ASHA (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's) adults between 18-40 years old should have a hearing test every three to five year.