By Emily Sewell
Research shows most individuals with hearing loss wait seven years from the time they notice problems with their hearing to the moment they address the problem with a medical professional.
May is ‘Better Hearing and Speech’ month, so to celebrate and create awareness of the University of Mississippi’s Speech and Hearing Clinic—located at the university’s South Oxford Center in the old Baptist Memorial Hospital location on South Lamar Boulevard—the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders is offering free hearing screenings on Monday, April 29 and Monday, May 20. The clinic’s emphasis for hosting the event is to make the community aware of issues that affect hearing health and welcome new patients to their new location.
With the free hearing screening, the clinic is also offering a free hearing aid demonstration and $200 off of the purchase of a pair of hearing aids during the month of May.
“We wanted to be able to open our doors for the community and let everybody come see the awesomeness of the speech and hearing clinic,” said Haley Messersmith, a clinical instructor and audiologist at the clinic.
Participants should expect to be at the clinic for approximately an hour, Messersmith said. There will be no extensive paperwork, but the audiologists will sit down and talk to patients about why they are there, do a basic screening, and if needed, a hearing aid demo. There will be audiologists and students at the clinic to answer any questions the patient may have.
“I am hoping that by offering a free event—where our patients can come kind of risk-free and get their hearing screens—that we can bring awareness to hearing disorders and then be able to hopefully treat some of those patients earlier rather than later,” Messersmith said.
Along with audiology testing and hearing aids, the clinic also offers other services such as speech and language pathology and a program for young children with moderate to severe language disorders.
They also offer an AURAL rehabilitation group. This is a support group for people with hearing loss that is offered through the clinic and open to the community. The group meets every other Friday, and more information about the group will be given at the event in a pamphlet that each patient receives.
The event is by appointment only, so any individual interested in the event should call the clinic to get his or her free hearing exam – (662) 915-7271.