Listen up: ECU offers free speech and hearing screenings today
The Daily Reflector
Friday, May 25, 2018
Experts at ECU want people receive their clear message: Hearing, speech and language disorders can be detected and treated and today is the opportunity to get a free start.
As part of Better Hearing and Speech Month, the ECU College of Allied Health Sciences’ Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic will offer free speech and hearing screenings to the community. From 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. today at the clinic located at the Health Sciences Building, 2150 Health Science Drive, North Carolina-licensed audiologists and speech-language pathologists certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association will supervise screenings for both children and adults.
Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and balance disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment, including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems, including swallowing disorders.
Speech and language screenings for children 18 months and older will include assessments of speech sounds and fluency, language skills, literacy skills, voice and resonance and social communication, according to a news release issued this week.
Adult speech and language screenings will include assessments of speech sounds and fluency, voice and resonance, social communication and memory and cognition.
Hearing screenings for adults and children 4 years and older will include a video ear inspection, hearing screening, free hearing aid cleanings and a tinnitus treatment station.
Conducting tests will be audiologists, speech-language pathologists, speech, language, and hearing scientists, audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel and students.
According to information at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association website, one in five (20 percent) Americans have hearing loss in at least one ear. About 26 million Americans between ages 20–69 have high frequency hearing loss due to exposure to loud noises. Another 20 percent of teens ages 12-19 have reported hearing loss due to loud noise and about 33 percent of Americans between ages 65-74 and nearly 50 percent of those 75 and older have hearing loss. More than 30 million U.S. workers are exposed to hazardous noise levels.
Speech disorders occur when a person is unable to produce speech sounds correctly or fluently, or has problems with their voice, association experts said. Language disorders occur when a person has trouble understanding others or sharing thoughts, ideas and feelings completely, the professionals said.
About 40 million Americans have communication disorders, costing the U.S. approximately $154–186 billion annually, according to the ASHA professionals.