Say That Again? New Telephone Test To Determine Hearing Loss
By Sakeena Tan | Health & Medicine
July 2, 2012
Researchers have designed a new hearing-screening test in Mandarin for people suffering from hearing loss in China.
AsianScientist (Jul. 2, 2012) – Among the many people worldwide with hearing loss, it is estimated that only one percent of Chinese obtain hearing aids to ease their hearing difficulties.
In light of these statistics, researchers at the University of Southampton have developed a new hearing-screening test in Mandarin designed for the people suffering from hearing loss in China.
According to the test’s designers Professor Mark Lutman and Dr. Guoping Li, the availability of a telephone-based test enables individuals to obtain an objective assessment of their hearing ability and hence guidance on whether they should seek professional assistance.
Conducted over the telephone, the tests are based on listening to triple digit presentations, such as “2-5-9,” against a background of noise and then pressing the corresponding numbers on the telephone keypad.
Correct responses lead to the noise level increasing, thereby making the test more difficult, while mistakes lead to the noise level deceasing, making the test easier. The overall test measures the highest noise level that is compatible with correct responses.
Performance on the test reflects the main difficulty experienced in everyday life by people with a hearing loss, which is understanding what people are saying in a background of noise.
“This project will have a massive social impact in China. There are at least 100 million adults who are hearing impaired and this is the first adult hearing screening test via telephone made available in China,” said Li.
A corresponding test for use over the internet is currently being prepared.
Source: University of Southampton.
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