Media Statement on New Hearing Test

Audiology Australia is concerned that members of the public may be misled by a recent media announcement regarding an online hearing test that uses real words and not tones. The announcement infers that the use of speech test materials to test hearing is a new innovation.

To set the record straight, use of speech materials in audiological testing has been an essential component of hearing assessments and hearing aid fitting for many years. Far from being a novel idea, the use of speech test materials is considered standard in any reasonable assessment of hearing.

However, and more important, the assessment of hearing, and proper fitting of a hearing aid, requires a comprehensive case history and a battery of tests to establish the communication needs of the individual client. It is not possible to rely on responses to tones or beeps alone.

Some types of hearing loss can be treated medically and it is essential to determine this so that referral for medical/ENT follow up can be arranged. Should hearing aids be recommended, this detailed information is necessary for proper fitting of a device.
Audiology Australia is concerned that consumers may put themselves at medical risk by self- diagnosing their own hearing. We strongly advocate that it is essential to have a comprehensive assessment of hearing prior to the fitting of any hearing device, including hearing aids, and that this should be carried out by a professional audiologist.

Louise Hickson
President, Audiology Australia

Audiology Australia PO Box 504 Brentford Square, VIC. 3131 Phone: (03) 9877 2727 Fax: (03) 9877 0645