The hEARo application has been created to promote hearing tests in children, teach them to respond to a sound stimulus and, by means of a game, test children's hearing. Our game is primarily aimed at parents and nursery schools. With our application, a parent or other guardian may notice the child's hearing problem. Performing hearing tests in children on everyday basis, we know well how difficult it is to do the audiometry test in children below 5-6 years of age. We wanted to create a game that will make children interested and at the same time the result of the game will be a certain tip for parents.
The game is divided into 4 stages of varying difficulty.The application may be used both for learning and testing. Using the hEARo game, you may determine whether your child can hear various frequencies, whether s/he identifies the sounds correctly, whether s/he distinguishes the sound pitch and whether s/he can hear and respond to simple messages properly. The test can be performed using the built-in speaker. We also recommend that before each game the child's guardian should get acquainted with the game settings. The game is intended for children above 3.
The game is supported on all mobile devices with Android system. It is recommended to install the game on such a device as tablet with dual-core processor.
The free version of the game allows only for checking the child's response to 6 frequencies: 250Hz, 500Hz, 1000Hz, 2000Hz, 4000Hz, 8000Hz. We encourage you to install the full version.
Full version of the game includes 4 stages: detection, identification, differentiation, understanding. Using the full version, you have an opportunity to observe the child's response in various sound games. Thanks to the summary of all the stages, you may see which level is difficult for your child.
Here we will publish positive things that others say about our game;)
The author of the game is the Audiomed company, for years dealing with hearing diagnosis. The idea itself would be nothing without the right people. Fantastic graphics is the merit of artists from the Lubiemarmolade studio. IT specialists from the DotCore company are responsible for putting it all together and for proper coding.
Hearing is one of the most specialized human sensory organs.The ear is divided into three parts:
- outer ear (pinna, external auditory meatus),
- inner ear, which contains the receptors of the sense of balance and hearing – the organ of Corti.
The outer and middle ear transmits and amplifies the acoustic wave to the inner ear. In the inner ear, the acoustic wave is converted into electrical impulses transmitted via the auditory nerve to the brain. In the brain processes concerning the location of the sound source and speech understanding take place.
The organ of hearing starts to develop in a 20-day-old embryo, when the auditory plate is formed.In the 20th week of pregnancy, the organ of Corti (in the cochlea) is fully formed and allows for sound reception.In the 5th month of the foetal life, the basic auditory canal is formed. The canal grows up to 5 years of age, when it reaches the size typical for an adult. Starting from the 6th month of pregnancy, the foetus begins to recognize the sounds of speech. Sounds and melodies heard in the mother's womb are recognized after birth. The outer ear is fully formed in the 9th month of pregnancy and its size is that of an adult person then. The auditory cortex stops to develop at the age of 10.
Hearing tests are divided into the ones where a patient does not cooperate with us (objective) and the ones where such a cooperation is possible (subjective).Hearing tests can be performed already during the prenatal period. In all newborns, screening tests should be made – TEOAE otoacoustic emissions (objective hearing test). If the otoacoustic emissions test result is abnormal, the ABR (Auditory Brainstem Response) test is advisable, together with impedance audiometry.
5-12 months of age Tests: BOA - unconditional response to sound,
5-36 months of age VRA test - a look in the direction of sound,
2-3 years of age CPA test a child moves the blocks when s/he hears a sound, or carries out other commands associated with toys.
3-7 years of age CPA test / pure tone / speech audiometry.
The functions of earwax in the ear are very important: cleansing, moisturising and protecting. The yellow or brownish substance lubricates the external auditory meatus, protects it from micro-injuries and e.g. water. It also collects dust and regularly performs self-cleaning of the ear, getting outside the ear. Its chemical composition protects the ear against pathogenic microbes. However, the retention of earwax is undesirable not only for aesthetic, but also for health reasons.Proper ear hygiene consists in its regular and skilful cleansing of residual earwax using warm water and mild detergent with natural pH of 5.5. You can only clean the outer ear and the area surrounding the outlet of the external auditory meatus. It is best to do it with your fingers. Ear buds can only be used to clean the corners of the pinna and ear canal outlet. It is unacceptable to insert the bud deeper. If, during a bath, water gets inside your ear, do not remove it using a towel or an ear bud; just wait until it comes out.To remove the excess earwax – especially if you are prone to have impacted cerumen formed – using special preparations available in pharmacies is recommended. They are to be used once or twice a week, according to the instructions in the leaflet. In the case of a suspected blockage of the ear canal by impacted cerumen, contact the ENT specialist as soon as possible.
Hearing affects physical, mental, emotional development and social maturity.Hearing impairment inhibits the natural development of speech. It is vital to detect hearing loss early.Any suspicion of a hearing loss should be a signal to carry out tests. Hearing loss in children affects not only the ability to acquire knowledge through hearing, but it also has consequences for the development of voice and speech.In the case of infants and children with impaired hearing, communication with such children is often difficult, and some children's responses to the sounds around them may suggest to parents that their children are developing normally.For that reason, among other things, without specific certain audiological tests it is very difficult to detect possible hearing impairment and identify the right moment to start specialist treatment. It also needs to be remembered that hearing problems can occur in children of all ages.
Hearing loss may be suggested for example by such symptoms as:
-problems with sound location,
-retarded speech development,
-difficulty in understanding read text,
-unpronouncing the endings or beginnings of words,
-problems with writing from listening or repeating the sentences uttered,
-concentration problems, lack of focus,
-retarded responding to commands or calling by name,
-being unprepared for lessons because of not writing down the homework topic,
-enquiring classmates what the lesson was about,
Therefore, the symptoms are easily observable. However, you need to remember that children with good hearing also behave in such a way.
Due to the location of the damage, the following types of hearing loss have been determined:
- conductive hearing loss - treatable,
- sensory hearing loss - a hearing aid or cochlear implant recommended, depending on the severity of the loss,
- central hearing disturbances.
Conductive hearing loss can be caused by the diseases of the outer and middle ear, but also by the distortions being the consequence of congenital anomalies, inflammations, damage to the eardrum or ossicles. Sensory hearing loss can result from the damage to the structures of the inner ear, auditory nerve, or auditory centres in the brain. Mixed hearing loss is a combination of conductive and sensory hearing loss.
It is important to realize that almost every child with impaired hearing can be treated if the impairment is detected and diagnosed early. Methods of treatment depend on the diagnosis. Conductive hearing loss can be treated as well.Early diagnosis should cause rapid intervention. If sensory hearing loss is diagnosed, the child should receive a hearing aid as soon as possible. However, the correction of hearing loss is not all. Rehabilitation is necessary.