WASHINGTON, Oct. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AARP today announced an agreement between the AARP Hearing Center and the National Hearing Test that allows AARP members nationwide to take the telephone-administered test at no charge. More than 37 million American adults report some trouble hearing, yet fewer than half have had their hearing tested or sought treatment, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
"Untreated hearing loss can lead to a serious decline in the quality of life, and can even affect your livelihood," said Stephanie Miles, Vice President of 50+ Value Integration, AARP. "It's important to get your hearing tested regularly, as hearing loss is often gradual. With October designated as national Protect Your Hearing Month, we are pleased to offer the National Hearing Test as a first step to allow individuals to take charge of their hearing health."
The National Hearing Test (NHT) was developed by leading scientists, with support from the National Institutes of Health. The self-administered test is taken via telephone, with results available within ten minutes. Test participants whose results indicate potential below-normal hearing ability are assisted with information on how to obtain a more complete evaluation by a certified hearing professional in their local area. The NHT is an independent organization, with no commercial ties to specific service providers or manufacturers of hearing aids.
"Research shows that early intervention in hearing loss leads to better quality of life and greater success with hearing aids," said Dr. Charles S. Watson, chief scientist for the NHT in the United States and professor emeritus of speech and hearing sciences at Indiana University, Bloomington. "Consequently, it's important for anyone who suspects they've suffered hearing loss to have their hearing tested."
AARP's Hearing Center, launched in 2014, provides consumers interested in hearing health with helpful tips, information, tools and links to relevant programs and product solutions. Under today's agreement, AARP members who register at the Hearing Center website may take the National Hearing Test with the standard $5 test fee waived. The offer is in effect for a limited time this fall, but may be extended based on demand. Visit www.aarp.org/hearing, use your AARP membership number to obtain an access code, and then follow the links for instructions on taking the free test.
While the telephone-administered National Hearing Test provides an accurate estimate of a person's hearing in the speech-frequency range, it is not a substitute for a full hearing evaluation. Based on the test results, participants are encouraged to consult with their physician or use the NHT-provided online links to professional organizations that provide lists of hearing professionals by geographic area.
About the National Hearing Test
The National Hearing Test is administered by Bloomington, Ind.-based Communication Disorders Technology Inc., in partnership with Indiana University and the VU Medical Center of Amsterdam. The test was developed with the support of the National Institute for Deafness and Other Communication Disorders of the National Institutes of Health, under Grant No. 3R43DC009719. Learn more about the National Hearing Test at www.nationalhearingtest.org.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.