Your hearing abilities change as you age. For example, small children can hear the most frequencies, but the frequency range shrinks in adulthood, and many people start to lose their hearing later in life.
UK education company eChalk has developed a novel approach to hearing testing. Their test can tell you your “hearing age.” This guide will tell you all about the eChalk test and how you can use it to monitor your hearing health.
The eChalk Hearing Age Test
The eChalk hearing age test is an online hearing test developed by eChalk Ltd. In addition to the hearing test, the application also features a collection of games, quizzes, and activities to promote learning through fun.
Designed for individual and group participants, the eChalk hearing test plays a tone that sweeps across the normal human hearing range. After analyzing which frequencies you can’t hear, the test determines your hearing age.
How Does the eChalk Hearing Test Work?
The maximum human hearing range is 20-20,000 Hz, but the ability to hear high frequencies diminishes with age.
Few people over 18 can hear frequencies higher than 17,500 Hz, while most folks over 40 cannot hear frequencies over 15,000 Hz.
The eChalk test can tell you your hearing age by testing your ability to hear high frequencies. Certain things like health conditions or exposure to loud noises and chemicals that harm the ear can raise your hearing age.
Taking the Test
To take the eChalk hearing age test, follow the steps below. You can use headphones or speakers, but headphones are recommended for best results. You should take the test in a quiet room with minimal background noise.
Step 1: Go to the “How old is your hearing?” page on their official website. Select an individual or group test.
Step 2: The test instructions will display on the screen. Press “start test” to begin.
Step 3: The test plays a series of tones at varying volumes across the full audible frequency range. The test taker taps the “I can’t hear it” button when they can no longer hear the tone,
Step 4: Once the test is over, it will display the maximum frequency you can hear and your hearing age.
Interpreting the Results
As noted above, the test gives you two pieces of information: The maximum frequency you can hear and your hearing age. When reading the results, here are some things to consider:
- A normal maximum frequency for adults is 8,000 Hz to 16,000 Hz.
- Most people can’t hear sounds over 15,000 Hz at age 40.
- Most people can’t hear sounds over 12,0000 Hz at age 50.
A max frequency under 8,000 Hz is a sign that you might need hearing aids. You should consult an audiologist to check for hearing loss.
If your hearing age is much higher than your actual age, you should take some steps to protect your ears, including:
- Only listening to headphones for less than 60 minutes continuously at 60 percent volume
- Limiting exposure to loud sounds and noise
- Wearing ear protection if you work in an occupation that involves prolonged exposure to noise, such as construction, manufacturing, or live entertainment.
To test your middle ear health, you can get a tympanometry test.
eChalk hearing test can be used to determine how old your hearing is.
This test is for educational purposes only. The eChalk hearing test cannot diagnose the type, severity or cause.
You can consult a licensed audiologist or visit hearing clinics for a comprehensive hearing evaluation. Your hearing health professional can make an accurate diagnosis, provide tips to prevent hearing loss, and advise you on treatment options, including hearing aids, cochlear implants, and surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the eChalk Test a Substitute for a Hearing Exam?
No. The eChalk test is for informational purposes only. However, it can be a useful preliminary screening tool to identify high-frequency hearing loss in older adults and people with high exposure to loud noises. You need a professional hearing test from a licensed audiologist to diagnose hearing loss.
Does the eChalk Test Cost Money?
No. The test is 100 percent free.
Which Frequencies Can Humans Hear?
Humans can detect frequencies ranging from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz. However, the upper limit of the hearing range in most human adults is 15 kHz to 17 kHz.
As we age, we gradually lose the sensitivity to detect high frequencies, which is completely normal.
Human infants can perceive frequencies greater than 20 kHz, but this sensitivity is lost as they mature.
What Causes High-Frequency Hearing Loss?
High-frequency hearing loss occurs when the sensory hair cells inside the inner ear degenerate or suffer damage. The most common causes of high-frequency hearing loss are age and over-exposure to loud noise. Other causes of high-frequency hearing loss include middle ear infections, tumors, medications, and genetic disorders.
Are There Other Free Hearing Tests I Can Take?
Companies that manufacture or sell hearing aids like Starkey, ReSound, or Widex offer online hearing tests. However, online test results are not always reliable, so it is best to get an in-person hearing test if you suspect hearing loss.
When Should I Get Professionally Tested for Hearing Loss?
You should get an appointment with an audiologist if you notice common signs of hearing loss, like trouble understanding conversations in noisy environments, or your friends and family tell you that you talk too loudly or you play your TV at an abnormally high volume. You should also get routine testing at least every three years after age 50 and annually after 65.