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Sac State Offers Free Hearing Clinic

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) -- Thara Seelanatha used to take her hearing for granted.

"I would use to blast music in my car and now when I do that it kind of irritates my ears," the 25-year-old said.

She hasn't lost it, but she wants to protect it. Seelanatha is still awaiting results, but she already booked appointments for her parents.

"They were very thorough," she said. "They explained very well what was happening and what to do so I thought, 'It's time to bring my parents in as well."

Recently, she took advantage of CSU Sacramento's new hearing clinic where patients don't pay a dime for what is typically costly care. It's funded by financial donations.

"We're able to really meet a need and be able to provide those services and reduce barriers to care," said Dr. Laura Gaeta, Au.D. program coordinator and interim Audiology Clinic coordinator.

Services include tinnitus and hearing tests for young and old.

The Maryjane Rees Language, Speech, and Hearing Center Audiology Clinic recently began offering these free services. Students in the doctor of audiology program run the clinic alongside professional audiologists.

The free services follow the launch of the university's doctoral audiology program in 2020. When nationwide standards required audiologists to have a doctorate degree, the new regulation forced many master's programs to close including Sacramento State which led to a shortage.

"I would say it's not so much the cost as it is access to services," Dr. Laura Gaeta said.

The program hopes to add more doctors to the field, by offering students need hands-on experience while conducting research.

The free audiology clinic runs three days a week by appointment only. To learn more, click here.

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