Checking your hearing

Speech in noise test

People who have hearing loss do not only experience problems detecting quiet sounds, but also experience difficulties with communication in noisy environments.HearCom offers the opportunity to undertake a speech in noise test to check how well you can understand speech in the presence of disturbing background noise. You can get to the test by clicking the following link: Speech in noise test

Directional hearing

Another aspect of hearing that can be affected by hearing loss is directional hearing. You can perform a sound localization test here to check your ability to hear where sounds are coming from. This will provide information as to how well your ears work together. The test determines the smallest angle for which you are still able to recognize if a sound originated from your right or your left. This test may be especially interesting if you have difficulty locating a sound source you cannot see. You can get to the test by clicking the following link: Sound localization test

Behavioral aspects of directional hearing

In everyday situations, head movements reduce spatial ambiguity and can compensate hearing deficiencies to some extend. Incorporating behavioral aspects into screening methods therefore yields additional information about the relevance of individual hearing deficiencies in everyday life. In this test you have to localize ringing telephones in an interactive virtual environment. You can get to the test by clicking the following link: Headphone-based localization test

Questionnaire

A hearing loss can complicate everyday life. A useful way to assess the restrictions experienced in everyday life is through a questionnaire. The HearCom questionnaire will help you to estimate the types of restrictions you are experiencing as a result of your hearing loss. The questions asked relate to different scenarios: understanding speech in quiet, understanding speech in noise, directional hearing and recognition of sounds. You can get to the questionnaire by clicking the following link: HearCom questionnaire

Important information: All the tests offered in this area are intended for self screening

These screening tests are not as comprehensive as the diagnostic tests conducted by hearing professionals (e.g. full hearing tests such as audiometry, tympanometry, sentence in noise test) nor are they intended to take their place. They are intended only to provide you with a ‘first impression’ of your hearing ability. However, these screening tests are less susceptible to environmental issues such as room acoustics since they involve stimuli that are clearly audible. Hence, they can be safely conducted at home in a quiet place using a computer equipped with sound card. Diagnostic tests carried out by hearing professionals are usually conducted in a controlled environment using special equipment to provide the required sensitivity and accuracy.