Audiology Awareness Month highlights services provided by USM clinic
Published 4:13 pm Thursday, October 7, 2021
Special to the Item
One might be surprised to learn hearing loss is the third most common chronic condition in the United States. The trained professionals at The University of Southern Mississippi’s Audiology Clinic are doing their part to raise awareness about this debilitating condition.
October has been designated as Audiology Awareness Month. Dr. Lyerly Christensen, Audiology Clinic Coordinator at USM, notes that most people view hearing problems with a negative stigma, unlike vision problems.
“Many put off addressing hearing loss and now research shows a link with hearing loss to cognitive decline,” said Christensen. “You need to keep your brain processing sounds. The longer you wait to begin using hearing aids, the longer it can take to get use to using hearing aids. Plus, hearing loss has an impact on social relationships, causing people to become withdrawn from social situations because they can’t understand conversations.”
Christensen became the Clinic Coordinator in July after working at a Hattiesburg-area ENT office for the previous 21 years. She explains that the Audiology Clinic serves patients of all ages and all clinical staff hold a Doctorate in Audiology. The group includes:
A Pediatric Audiologist who evaluates infants that failed their newborn hearing screenings from hospitals in Hattiesburg and surrounding areas.
An Educational Audiologist on staff who works with children and teenagers with hearing loss, either using hearing aids or cochlear implants, and helps to guide them through what is needed for their academic success.
Two Audiologists who see adults to dispense hearing aids and works with various programs to allow people to obtain hearing aids.
The Audiology Clinic is a service of USM’s School of Speech and Hearing Sciences.
The Clinic usually sees approximately 40 patients per week, ranging in age from a few days old to senior citizens. Among the many services provided include, hearing evaluations; evaluations, fittings and troubleshooting of hearing aids and other assistive devices; ear molds; programming for traditional and bone anchored hearing aids and cochlear implants.
Audiology Technician and Instructor Dr. Jennifer Goshorn has worked at the Clinic for more than 15 years. She points out that having an Audiology Clinic on the Hattiesburg campus provides innumerable benefits.
“The Audiology Clinic is the main vehicle for training doctoral students in audiology at USM. We use our clinic as a service to the community and we participate in programs to allow clients who have financial needs access to hearing health care,” she said. “In addition, our alumni, faculty, staff and students have state-of-the-art care available to them while allowing audiology doctoral students to participate in hand-on, real-world training.”
To learn more about the Audiology Clinic at USM, call 601.266.5216 or visit: https://www.usm.edu/speech-hearing-sciences/usm-speech-language-pathology-clinic-and-usm-audiology-clinic.php