There has never been a more efficient and cheaper time to receive a hearing test than right now! Throughout the entire month of May, the National Institutes of Health is sponsoring free hearing screenings over the phone as a recognition to May being officially titled as Better Hearing and Speech Month.

The new test is a simple examination of hearing that is administered through the phone, and works by having callers listen to a collection of spoken digits while background noise is produced on top of the numbers being communicated. After the listener has heard the digits, he or she simply dials the numbers on the keypad, and if correct, the listener is allowed to advance into a more difficult variation of the test.

When the wrong numbers are repeatedly entered, the next series of exams are more audible to hear. The accuracy of the phone caller is measured through real time to calculate the degree of hearing loss, and the overall intentions of the test are to determine the extent of functional hearing with the caller, which is mainly attributed to the ability to understand speech through background noise.

The test is projected to take an average of 10 minutes, and should be taken using a landline phone instead of a cell phone to help achieve a stable level of sound quality. Taking the examination in an extremely quiet room or location that is free of distractions is also suggested.

To participate in the testing, simply dial 866-223-7575, where you will then hear instructions to repeat the digits spoken into the keypad. After completing the initial stages of the hearing screening, you will then be provided with your results, which, judging by the score, could indicate a recommendation to visit a professional audiologist.

Indicators that you need a hearing test
Screenings that examine your hearing are the most efficient method to figuring out if you are suffering from any variation of auditory impairment. While they should be received annually, more often than not people continue to avoid seeking treatment. Some indications that you might be due for a hearing test include:

  • Frequent sensations of ringing in the ears
  • You often find that you are asking people to repeat themselves
  • Friends and family complain that you talk too loudly or watch the television at too high of a volume
  • It is hard to engage in conversation, especially in crowded areas

The earlier you can figure out if you are auditory impaired, the easier it is to help treat symptoms, so this May, pick up the phone and get yourself tested.

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