Testing hearing on the International Space Station

KUDUwave audiometer.
KUDUwave audiometer

KUDUwave audiometer.  Hearing tests take off in space

A new, South African made, portable audiometer, will soon be testing the hearing of crew members onboard the International Space Station.  The International Space Station, or ISS, is a noisy place, and even the experience of getting to and from it can be a risk to hearing. In fact, NASA’s audiology studies detect that astronauts’ hearing is at risk due to the challenges of their job.

Some time ago NASA started exploring ways to better monitor astronaut health in long space missions, but existing audiometry machines were simply too elaborate and heavy to get into, and operate in, space.

Cue the KUDUwave, a medically certified device, that will soon be testing and diagnosing auditory related deficiencies in ISS space crew.

The KUDUwave ticks all the boxes for NASA.

  • It provides valid clinical data calibrated to internationally accepted audiometry standards.
  • It’s compatible with NASA’s computer operating system.
  • It’s small and light, doesn’t need a booth, and requires little additional hardware.
  • It’s easy to use – astronauts can use it independently.
  • It tests middle ear function.
  • It can report on background noise levels.
  • And it can withstand extremely rough handling and very low temperatures.

The first inflight hearing assessments with KUDUwave will be carried out by two crews on the ISS this month, and results will be released later in the year.

Here for you

Luckily you don’t have to go into space to get your hearing tested by a smart South African! Our very own Bridgitte is on hand to provide hearing assessments in Radlett and Hitchin, ably supported by her colleagues, Trisha and Candice. Simply call our friendly team to book your appointment at The Hearing Clinic on 01923 372101 (Radlett) or 01462 506074 (Hitchin).

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