Melbourne scientists develop free online hearing test

7News Melbourne with City Editor Dean Felton

Internet hearing test

Melbourne scientists have created a free online test that could help millions of hearing impaired Australians.

The new web-based test that uses words, not beep tones, could help as many as four million Australians who suffer with hearing loss.

The results help produce an aid that experts say often delivers better than perfect human hearing.

Researchers say it is not only important to do the test but to do it before hearing loss becomes irreparable.

That's one reason the inventors have made it available online for free.

They say the high cost of traditional testing is a barrier to diagnosis.

"Too few Australians are getting their hearing tested. They're put off by a stigma and inconvenience of going to see an audiologist," said Professor Peter Blamey, Chairman of Blamey Saunders Hears.

"While working on the bionic ear I spent many years studying how toddlers develop speech and more recently on how many of us gradually lose our ability to understand the spoken word.

"Last year I realised that the big flaw with the traditional hearing test is that it's not directly measuring how we hear and understand speech."

Take the test yourself here