Once you reach 50 years old, hearing health professionals highly recommend scheduling a routine hearing test even if you’ve never had difficulty hearing in the past. The reason is that, with age, your hearing tends to get worse over time – often so slowly it isn’t noticed until it significantly impacts your daily life. Meanwhile, the body adapts by transferring the stress of hearing to other parts of the body, and your entire health may be compromised.

If you’re uncertain whether you’re dealing with hearing loss, or otherwise hesitant to to schedule a full exam with an audiologist, another option is an online hearing test. The following are a few of the advantages of this type of preliminary screening: 

  • They’re usually 100 percent free
  • They only take 10-15 minutes to complete
  • They can be taken any time of day, in the privacy of your home
  • There are literally dozens, if not hundreds to choose from

You might be thinking, ‘Is it really possible to get an accurate hearing test online?’ Well, yes and no. Online hearing tests are a good place to start if you’re curious about your hearing ability, On the other hand, they are no substitute for a full exam, and you should not purchase hearing aids on the basis of online results alone. Nonetheless, they are useful in indicating the need for a comprehensive, in-person exam administered by a hearing health professional.

During an online hearing test you may be asked to complete questionnaires and quizzes about your daily life and hearing-related experiences to gauge your potential hearing loss. Some hearing tests involve interactive prompts that test your ability to hear a range of tones, so it’s important to choose a quiet place where you can take the test without interference from noise and other people. Many online hearing tests try to keep things fun, such as the Healthy Hearing test that matches you up to a canine with similar hearing ability.

If your online hearing test results are inconclusive, or indicate potential hearing loss, the next step is to call and schedule a full hearing exam with a hearing care professional. Keep in mind that the longer you wait to seek treatment, the longer hearing loss will continue to affect your health and quality of living.