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Are Free Hearing Screenings Available?

by Dr. Natalie Phillips, Audiology Expert
October 20, 2016

Question: Are free hearing screenings available?

Answer: “Hearing Screenings” may be offered at physician’s offices, health or community fairs, University Audiology programs, as well as hearing healthcare provider offices. Screenings performed at fairs or primary physician’s offices usually consist of 4 frequencies at a set level of sound (i.e. 500 Hz, 1000 Hz, 2000 Hz, and 4000 Hz) and are usually rated on a pass/fail scale in order to determine if you need further diagnostic testing.  

Further screening options may include a broader range of frequencies from 250-8000 Hz, similar to a more diagnostic evaluation, but may be performed with or without diagnostic intentions included in a comprehensive evaluation.  A comprehensive audiogram would typically include air and bone conduction thresholds to determine type of hearing loss, as well as speech discrimination testing to assess clarity of hearing and successful hearing aid use.  University Audiology programs may have screenings available as students, under the supervision of a professor and licensed Audiologist, will need to obtain practice and it is a good way to help and be of service to each other.  Some University programs can actually bill for this service as well if part of a clinic program and are able to contract with your insurance provider.  Hearing screenings may be offered for “free” at hearing healthcare provider offices as a promotion or open house event, but be aware of this option as it may be a way to get you “in the door” as a consumer in order to purchase hearing aids.

Dr. Natalie Phillips is the Senior Audiologist with Advanced Otolaryngology and Audiology in Fort Collins, Colorado and Director of Audiology with EarQ. Dr. Phillips has served on the Board of Directors for the Colorado Academy of Audiology and on various convention committees for the American Academy of Audiology as well as the Support Personnel Task Force.

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