(WKTV) - Faxton-St. Luke's is offering free hearing checks as part of Better Hearing and Speech Month.
A goal of 250 screenings before the year has been set. At the Faxton Campus, audiologists expect to do 100 of those screenings in May alone. One in six Americans has a hearing, speech or language problem, and doctors say you could be deprived of a lot if your hearing is poor.
Experts also say you should be getting your hearing tested as often as you have your teeth cleaned or your eyes checked.
"Quality of life deteriorates if you don't have good hearing," said Cheryl Longwell Townsend, an audiologist. "You have a high divorce rate, a decrease in communication, people who withdraw -- especially elderly people if they don't hear well."
When it comes to communicating with the hearing impaired, here are a few tips:
* Keep your voice at about the same volume throughout the sentence; don't drop your voice at the end of the sentence.
* Watch the expression on the listener's face and note when words are not caught. Don't repeat the whole sentence -- usually only one word or name wasn't clear.
* Many with hearing impairments are sensitive about their handicap, and will pretend to understand you when they don't. When you detect this situation, tactfully repeat your message in different words until it gets across.
To make an appointment for a free hearing screening, call 624-5455.