Your Hearing and Overall Health

Hearing loss can occur at any age and there are multiple causes.

Courtesy HearCare & Associates

Hearing loss is sometimes considered a condition that affects only senior adults. It’s true that one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 have some hearing difficulties, and that number increases to about half of all adults 75 and over. But it can occur at any age and there are multiple causes besides aging, including prolonged exposure to noise, certain types of disease, some medications, and even hereditary factors. Untreated, hearing loss can get worse.

Your overall health regimen should include an annual hearing exam, beginning with a baseline screening at around age 45, or any time you notice changes in your hearing. Kenneth and Jill Sheppard, owners of HearCare and Associates in Sherman and Gainesville, can become an integral part of your healthcare team, providing information––upon your request––to your primary care physician or other providers.

Integrated care is especially important because some hearing problems may be associated with other health issues, such as heart disease, vision loss, diabetes, or cognitive decline. For instance, an estimated 54% of American adults with chronic kidney disease have some level of hearing loss. Hearing loss occurs almost twice as often in adults who have diabetes than in those who don’t. The diminished awareness that can accompany hearing loss can be a contributing factor to increased risk of falls. And, low-frequency hearing loss and heart disease may be related due to the inner ear’s sensitivity to blood flow.

Perhaps one of the most troubling potential connections is that of hearing loss and dementia or cognitive decline, which may be associated with changes in brain structure or reduced brain volume. Even in situations where there are no direct links to physical disease, people who can’t hear well may become depressed due to feeling isolated or frustrated with their inability to understand conversation. It can take an enormous effort to simply enjoy watching television or tolerate loud sounds.

“When you can hear better, you’re more likely to enjoy life because you’re not having to work so hard to participate,” says Jill Sheppard, B.S., SLP/Audiology, Licensed Fitter and Dispenser of Hearing Instruments (LFDHI). “The latest digital hearing aids are programmed to your individual hearing needs and preferences, so you have less listening fatigue and enjoy better speech understanding. Just being able to hear your granddaughter’s voice again is a remarkable achievement for those who have been missing out on the simple pleasures of life.”

A hearing evaluation at HearCare is easy, painless, non-threatening, informative, and even fun. After an initial interview, your ears are checked, followed by a state-of-the-art hearing test in a booth with glass “windows” so you can see into the room. Afterward, you’ll be given the results immediately (Kenneth likes to draw pictures!) so you better understand your hearing loss––if any––and what will work for you.

“I’ll be the first to tell you if you don’t need a hearing aid,” says Kenneth Sheppard, Jr., LFDHI. “You deserve to hear as well as you possibly can, and if you can benefit from a hearing aid, I’ll talk with you honestly about your situation and recommend options that would best fit your hearing loss, lifestyle, and your budget.”

What’s different about HearCare? Some would say the Sheppards themselves, who offer extraordinary customer care, as well as the highest level of products and services available anywhere. Dr. Cassidae King, HearCare audiologist, provides comprehensive diagnostic evaluations for adults and children, conducting tests, as needed, for hearing sensitivities, speech understanding, and middle ear and auditory nerve functions.

Additionally, we can fit you with all major brands of hearing aids at HearCare, unlike some clinics owned by specific hearing aid manufacturers. Patients appreciate the “gift of time” that HearCare provides, allowing them to learn, experience, and make good decisions about their hearing health.

“Nothing sounds as good as what God gave you,” says Kenneth, smiling. “We want to work with the ability you have to hear natural sounds and then leverage that with the finest technology available and the earnest desire to help you hear well again.”

The HearCare team provides knowledge, compassion and over 40 years of experience. They invite you to call 903-868-2650 for your appointment. What are you waiting for?