Link Health and Community centre will offer free hearing screenings at its Oakleigh clinic throughout September.

Hearing health is something we may not think very much about but it’s important.

In honour of Hearing Awareness Week, Link Health and Community centre will offer free hearing screenings at its Oakleigh clinic throughout September.

Hearing Awareness Week takes place in the final week of August each year to provide valuable information and awareness about hearing.

Sue Potter, Audiologist at Oakleigh’s Link Health and Community centre, said offering these services may help people take the first step in getting their hearing tested.

“Many people don’t realise that one in six Australians is hearing impaired, deaf or has an ear disorder, which can make daily communication extremely difficult and may prevent people from reaching their potential,” she said.

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Hearing is a vital element in children’s development. Even slight hearing loss can affect a child’s speaking ability and understanding of language.

Adults can also suffer from hearing loss, but more often they’re affected in negative social, psychological and cognitive ways.

It’s important to keep an eye out for early warning signs of hearing loss, like difficulty understanding conversation, struggling to hear in noisy environments, thinking people are mumbling when they speak, and turning the TV’s volume up louder than others.

There are multiple kinds of hearing loss too.

Conductive hearing loss is caused when fluid builds up and blocks sound vibrations from entering your inner ear. This can also be caused by eardrum perforation, or a disorder that affects the hearing bones.

Sensorineural hearing loss is caused either by damaged hair cells inside the cochlea, damage done to the auditory nerve through aging or as a consequence of injury such as noise exposure.

It’s also possible to have a mixture of both kinds of hearing loss.

During September you can book your free hearing screening for a Wednesday or a Thursday by phoning 1300 552 509.

If booking your test online, be sure to use the code ‘LINK HEAR’ to get your free hearing test.