Many people wait until hearing problems become unbearable before going to get a screening. As many as 36 million Americans have some kind of hearing difficulty, but around half of those people have never had a hearing test.

Two universities and a small Indiana-based company are attempting to  provide easy, inexpensive hearing test that lets you know if your hearing is

Within the normal range

Slightly below the normal range

or Poor.

In honor of Better Hearing and Speech month, the screening is free for the entire month of May. After that each test will cost only $8.

The test, which should be taken using a landline telephone, presents three numbers against a background of white noise. The test-taker then enters the three numbers into the telephone keypad. The next series of three is adjusted based on the accuracy of the person’s response.

This system was first developed and validated by Dutch researchers and has been used in Europe since 2004. Previously, it was accepted that the phone was not a reliable way to test hearing because tonal hearing tests could be thrown off by the volume or amplification of each individual’s phone. This method uses speech-to-nose ration (SNR), which isn’t affected by the phone’s volume because the tones and white noise are at the same ratio no matter how loud or soft the phone’s settings are.

To take the hearing test, visit



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