Hearing loss is a real public health issue and is actually the third most common physical condition after arthritis and heart disease.
In fact, according to the Hearing Loss Association of America, around 20 percent of Americans (48 million) report some degree of hearing loss. At age 65, the numbers get worse - one out of three has hearing loss.
It's not limited to older people though, it can affect people of all ages and for most, it is a gradual deterioration that happens over time. This means we often don't notice that our hearing is declining until it's already severe or permanent.
If you suspect that you have some form of hearing loss, for example, you're starting to misunderstand everyday speech or you need to turn up the volume on your TV just to hear the dialogue, it may be time to visit an audiologist.
However, for a quick and easy assessment, here's an online test you can try that will give you useful information about your state of hearing.
This website, HearingTest.online, was designed by Stéphane Pigeon, an audio engineer and professional sound designer as a convenient and reliable way to assess hearing.
It is recommended that you use a pair of good quality headphones or speakers, preferably having a flat response across the 250-8000 Hz frequency range. If you're not sure about your gear's specifications, don't worry, you can still take the test and get usable data.
First, calibrate your computer's volume by clicking on the site's Calibration File, adjust its level accordingly then scroll down and proceed to the test.
The test presents a grid of sound files of different frequencies. Just click through each sound within a column, from top to bottom, until a tone becomes audible. When you hear the tone, switch to the next column.
I took the test using hi-fidelity headphones but there was background office noise. Here's my test for both ears:
You can also take left ear or right ear tests for comparison.
Scrolling down after the test, you'll be presented with your own personal audiogram. The site states that ideally, the six markers should be located on top of the graph, near the zero range.
This means that if your markers are below zero, you may be suffering from hearing loss and the severity will depend on how low the markers are located.
Hmm, according to my results, my hearing is still OK.
To get real-life representations and comparisons of your results with everyday sounds, you can try changing the overlays on the graphs. The first overlay type is an everyday speech comparison. The second overlay represents some familiar sounds of daily life.
You can bookmark this page now and take the test periodically to measure your hearing over time. However, as the site's disclaimer states: "this website is not a substitute for a proper hearing test."
If your quality of life is already being impacted by a suspected hearing loss, "you are encouraged to consult an audiologist" as soon as you can.
Click here or the link below to visit HearingTest.online now.
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