- It was developed with the support of a research grant from the National Institutes of Health.
- It was created by a scientific group through research in VA clinics and at Indiana University.
- The National Hearing Test was scientifically validated to measure the loss of speech recognition in noise.
- You take the test in private over the phone, and only you receive the results.
- Your information is not shared with anyone who will try to sell you anything.
- The cost of providing each test is paid either by you, or for you by the AARP. Unlike the “free” tests, we don’t stand to benefit if you fail the test.
The National Hearing Test is a screening test you can take over the telephone. You listen to three-digit sequences presented in a background of white noise and then enter the digits using the telephone keypad. Similar tests have been used with great success throughout Europe and in Australia; this is the first of its kind in the U.S. It was developed with funding from the National Institutes of Health and is provided on a nonprofit basis, although there is a small fee for it. The goal is to give you information that can help you decide whether you should seek a full-scale evaluation of your hearing.
Approximately 36 million Americans have significant hearing loss, yet most have never had their hearing tested. Untreated hearing loss can lead to a serious decline in your quality of life, causing social isolation, problems on the job, and frequent embarrassment. The National Hearing Test is a simple, affordable, and scientifically validated screening. It can be the first step on your path to taking charge of your hearing health.
The National Hearing Test is quick and convenient, and it costs only $8 to take. You simply call from a telephone and enter your Access Code to start the test. Please do not use a cell phone. You listen to three-digit sequences and then use the keypad to enter what you heard. If you are doing well, the test becomes more difficult by making it harder to hear the digits. If you are making errors, the test gets easier. (This method provides a very accurate assessment of your ability to distinguish spoken words in different levels of background noise.) Immediately after the test, you are told the results for each ear, which will help you to make a more informed decision as to whether you should see an audiologist to have a complete hearing evaluation.
This hearing screening is very effective at detecting the most common forms of hearing loss, those that are age-related and those that result from exposure to loud noises. Click here for information on less common hearing problems that require a different approach.
Even if you pass a screening test, you should seek professional care if you have concerns about your hearing. You should see an audiologist if you often ask people to repeat things or have difficulty following conversations in noisy places. Research shows that people with these problems are likely to have significant hearing loss.