|WWW Hearing Test|
Most current computers have 16 bit, stereo sound cards and their quality varies widely. Hearing test results will depend on this quality. In order to reduce noise (or S/N - Signal to Noise), set the microphone input on your computer to "mute". You can do this by going to volume adjustment in the Mixer software. In Windows this is done by selecting Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> Entertainment -> Volume Control. Check your computer manual for other platforms.
AURAL volume calibration was developed by Digital Recordings. It allows +/- 3 dB precision if you are in a quiet environment and if the person performing calibration has good hearing.
SLM-based volume calibration is more objective and allows +/- 1 dB (or better) precision. To perform this calibration you must use an SLM (Sound Level Meter) and a coupler. You can purchase an SLM from Radio Shack (about $35 US) and DR1-R acoustical coupler from Digital Recordings ($39.95 US).
Hearing tests should be performed every six to 12 months. More frequent testing is recommended for those who work in environments that can induce hearing loss.
You can also use the WWW Hearing Test to check your hearing before and after going to a concert, target shooting or similar noisy activity. Threshold difference (before and after event) will represent TTS (Temporary Threshold Shift) which is an indication of noise exposure. If the threshold does not return to normal (i.e. your initial hearing test) in several days, this may indicate PTS (Permanent Threshold Shift), which is a hearing loss.
Many factors can influence hearing. They include noise, chemicals, radiation, medications, infections, and diet. Please check our web site for more information.
You can prevent hearing loss by using ear protection such as earplugs or earmuffs. These alone will not prevent hearing loss, particularly in very noisy environments which should be avoided altogether.
Also, other factors such as chemicals, medications, radiation, infections or diet can influence your hearing, and you should try to avoid them. WWW Hearing Test offers you a way to check and compare results of hearing tests. Always keep records / printouts of your previous tests indicating the equipment used, the date and any other important data. If your hearing thresholds increase over time it may be an indication of health problems or some environmental factors. You should investigate what those factors are and eliminate them, if at all possible.
Hearing changes with time and due to environmental factors such as noise exposure, chemicals, medications, radiation, infections, or diet. Regular monitoring of changes in your ability to hear will allow you to determine any hearing-damaging factors as well as your health. Therefore, we encourage you to keep the results of your tests for comparison and future reference. Always ensure that the date, time and other important data accompany your test results.
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