Should a Home Hearing Test Replace a Professional Evaluation?

If you have ever been in a situation that made you question whether your hearing was normal or not, you are not alone. According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, approximately 20 percent of Americans have some degree of hearing loss. That comes out to roughly 48 million people, just in the US!
So if you are one of the many people who live with hearing loss, your condition may not have been diagnosed yet. In the past, the only way to be certain whether you were experiencing hearing loss was to schedule an appointment with a professional, like an audiologist.
Thanks to new technology, however, it can now be much easier to determine whether you have hearing loss. If you own a device with Amazon’s Alexa, you can now perform a hearing test at home. The hearing test was recently launched by the UK company Amplify Hearing.
To use the Amplify hearing test app, simply give a voice command through Alexa such as, “Launch hearing screener.” In under five minutes, the app will give a hearing overview and determine your hearing condition through spoken phrases and frequency tones. According to Amplify, the test has an “impressive rate of accuracy.”
If the hearing screening determines that you may have hearing loss, it will direct you to medical professionals who are partnered with Amplify so you can schedule an appointment with an audiologist. This is an important step, as the app should not be considered a replacement for professional hearing screenings and diagnosis. Only a professional, like an audiologist, can adequately determine your hearing condition. A hearing professional can also recommend and provide proper treatment, such as a hearing aid.
While the Amplify hearing screening – and any other home hearing tests that become available in the future – should not be considered professional and should not replace a professional examination, there is hope that these home tests will increase awareness of hearing conditions. Christina Porter, an audiology partner with Amplify Hearing, is optimistic about the possibilities. She says, “Early identification of changes in hearing and/or ear health, can lead to improved outcomes with hearing technology further down the line. We can also vastly improve relationships, social inclusion, and general well-being when we look after our hearing properly.”
With over 100 million devices sold that support Amazon’s Alexa, it is an exciting prospect for hearing screenings to be widely available. This is a great tool for those who wonder if they are experiencing hearing loss. By using a simple test that takes only a few minutes, you can have a better understanding of your hearing condition. You can then gain more precise information and a more thorough evaluation through a hearing professional.
If you would like to learn more about home hearing tests, or if you believe you are experiencing hearing loss and would like to schedule an appointment with our skilled audiologist, we invite you to contact us today. We are always happy to help!


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