Over-the-phone hearing test offered free in June

Have you ever been accused of having “selective hearing”? Do you find that you are asking people to repeat themselves more often? Did you grow up listening to loud music, and worse yet – loud music from headphones? Have you consistently worn ear protection while mowing the lawn and operating noisy equipment?

Many things can be responsible for hearing loss. If you are concerned that your hearing or a loved one’s hearing has changed, find out with a free hearing test over the phone.

The National Hearing Test is a screening tool available for people to find out if they have a hearing problem. The test, which was developed with funding from the National Institutes of Health, normally costs $8 but is free through the month of June.

The test takes about 10 minutes to complete. Call 1-866-223-7575 in a quiet room. A landline, a phone that plugs into the wall, works better than a cell phone. You will be prompted to hold the phone first to the right ear and then the left. 

During the test, you will listen to a series of spoken three digit numbers (“2-1-6”) that are presented with background noise. After each group, you will punch in the numbers that you hear. Each time you enter the numbers correctly, the next series of numbers are presented at a lower, more difficult level. If you enter the numbers incorrectly, the following numbers are a bit easier to hear.

At the conclusion of the test, you will be given the results for each ear. If hearing loss is detected, they will recommend you follow up with a certified audiologist.

Many people have a hearing impairment which is not being treated. People generally wait 7-10 years before seeking help with hearing problems. This test is not a substitute for a full hearing evaluation, however it is a good first step towards identifying a problem. It is worth the time to take it.

Debbie Bock

Bay Village Community Services Director

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Volume 6, Issue 12, Posted 9:32 AM, 06.10.2014