After more than 30,000 Americans used the free over-the-phone National Hearing test in its first month, the service, developed by Indiana researchers at Communication Disorders Technology, Inc., and funded by a grant from NIH is extending throughout the month of June.

Left untreated, hearing loss can lead to job problems and income reduction, social isolation, embarrassment, and significantly lower quality of life. Hearing loss is irreversible, but if caught early, steps can be taken to keep its effects from worsening.

“Research shows that early intervention in hearing loss leads to better quality of life and greater success with hearing aids,” said Dr. Watson, chief scientist for the test and professor emeritus of speech and hearing sciences at Indiana University, Bloomington. “Consequently, it’s important for anyone who suspects they’ve suffered hearing loss to have their hearing tested and that a low-cost, convenient test be made widely available.”

The National Hearing Test, launched by Communication Disorders Technology, Inc., is described as a quick and accurate hearing screening. Watson reminds the screening is not a substitute for a full hearing evaluation by an audiologist.

“The screening test is for those who suspect they might have a hearing problem but are not sufficiently convinced to make that appointment,” Watson said. “Some callers pass the test and are relieved, while others fail and are advised to seek a full evaluation.”

The test takes approximately 10 minutes. To check your hearing, follow the instructions after you call toll-free (866) 223-7575. For more information, visit www.nationalhearingtest.org.

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