Just like scheduling your physical at your family doctor, your annual dental check at your dentist or having an eye exam, your hearing wellness check should be routine health maintenance. If you are beyond the age of 60, work in a noisy environment, or have frequent exposure to loud noises, an annual hearing check is recommended. Remember, hearing loss can be gradual, so an annual hearing check is a smart thing to do.
There are many ways to check your hearing and you will find several on our website. Your physician can offer you some advice, you can take an online hearing check, you can find a hearing app, or you can see a hearing healthcare professional.
Visit a Hearing Professional
During a hearing examination, you may be asked to complete the following:
An evaluation of personal hearing health or medical history. It is important to understand any issues that affect your hearing, such as genetic factors or other medical conditions like ear infections, allergies, colds, and even past traumas to the head.
An evaluation of noise exposure. If you have frequent exposure to loud noises in the workplace, through a hobby, or in a social situation that may put you at higher risk for hearing loss.
An otoscopic exam. Because earwax and other obstructions in the ear can cause hearing loss, an otoscope can be used to observe your ear canal and ear drum.
A pure tone test. You will be provided with either headphones or soft earplugs to wear and will be placed in a sound-proof booth or room. You will be asked to listen for faint tones and either raise your hand or press a button when you hear the tone. Your responses to the tones will determine what frequencies you are able to hear.
A speech test. This test will determine what spoken sounds you are able to recognize at different volumes.
Online Hearing Checks
There are free hearing checks available online that can be easily accessed. While helpful, an online hearing check is no substitute for a professional hearing test.
The National Hearing Test offered by AARP. AARP members are eligible for a free hearing check once a year over the phone. Three-digit sequences are provided through a background of white noise and you are asked to input those digits on your keypad. The check will determine whether you should follow up with a professional hearing test.
Hearing Aid Manufacturers The following companies offer free hearing checks. Visit their sites:
Smartphone Apps to Check Your Hearing Check out one of these apps:HearScreen and Petralax
iHear Medical Hearing Test The iHear Medical hearing test is the first and only approved hearing test available for over-the-counter sales. With a personal computer and internet connection, you will be able to connect to the iHear test and accurately profile your hearing ability. To know more about the iHear Medical test and where to purchase the device, please visitwww.ihearmedical.com/ihear-test/
These products are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by HIA or its member organizations.