Today, we launched a new hearing test. I can’t tell you how pleased I am. For years, I have been muttering darkly about the inadequacies of the traditional audiogram for describing hearing difficulties. It doesn’t. The pure tone audiogram is useful for diagnostic audiology, but in my view, that too will be short lived. It’s a historical anachronism. Now, there is a test that anyone can use, and that tells the person doing the test what speech sounds they have trouble hearing and what sounds they can hear well. It’s probably a marriage saver. No more “I passed the beep test” comments, from the spouse that isn’t hearing consonant sounds well. No more need to try and work out what sounds you might be predicted to have trouble hearing.
Why has this taken so long? – I don’t know, but I’m glad I work with very smart scientists who have made this possible.
I have heard that it is said that audiologists already do speech tests. Some do. It’s for a different reason though. They play 6 lists of words (per ear), in a test that is designed to hear what range of levels you can hear speech at. I haven’t heard of an audiologist who goes over an error analysis of the results. If you are out there, I am happy.
Anyone can use the speech test – GP’s can use it in their clinics. It’s been made freely available.
Check out The Speech Perception Test