Dr. Elyssa Washburn knows hearing treatment devices are not a one-size-fits-all situation, so she gives each patient a comprehensive exam and provides a tailored treatment plan at Love to Hear Again Audiology.

Located at 1125 S. Ball St., Ste. 105, Grapevine, the practice offers comprehensive hearing health care services, including ear-to-brain evaluations, consultations and treatment solutions, such as hearing devices and implants. The practice also offers ear cleanings and custom hearing protection products.

When it comes to hearing loss, many individuals do not understand the ear-to-brain connection.

“Our ears are just the information collectors that send the signal up, and the brain is actually what makes sense of the information,” Dr. Washburn said.

Because individuals hear with their brains, Love to Hear Again Audiology provides cognitive screenings to assess how much cognitive stress their hearing loss is causing.

“We perform period outcome measures to ensure our treatment plan, the prescription devices and settings are not only giving them daily function like they want and need, but that it’s also reducing the associated cognitive load,” Dr. Washburn said. “Our comprehensive treatment plans provide a clarified signal to help the brain work easier, not just make things louder.”

Although over-the-counter hearing aids are widely available and approved by the Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Washburn likens them to off-the-shelf reading glasses, and that it’s important to see a medical professional who can provide a customized, prescription solution specific to each patient’s needs.

“When you're getting prescription equipment from our office, we're going to prescribe the appropriate technology and care plan that makes sense for your ear-to-brain status and long term brain health goals,” Dr. Washburn said.

An over-the-counter hearing aid amplifies all sounds, while prescription hearing technology is programmable and set to enhance the particular spectrum of sound your brain is missing. Most prescription hearing devices include apps that allow individuals to control their listening experience above and beyond the prescription, as well as wireless streaming of calls and TV audio.

Dr. Washburn said the hearing equipment is just one piece of an individual's treatment plan for hearing loss.

“Hearing care is brain care,” Dr. Washburn said.

In addition to providing a better listening experience, addressing hearing loss in early stages with prescription equipment and treatment plan can reduce risk for memory loss. Hearing loss is the No. 1 modifiable risk factor for dementia and Alzheimer's.

“Hearing loss is a progressive degenerative neurologic disorder,” Dr. Washburn said. “ It's going to get worse over time, period, BUT with treatment we can slow down the rate and severity of decline. Because it's a progressive disorder, it comes in stages. There's Stage 1, 2, 3 and 4. With Stage 1 hearing loss, it doubles your risk for earlier onset and more rapidly progressive cognitive decline and dementia. With Stage 2, it triples the risk, and with Stage 3 hearing loss you have a four-fold increased risk. With Stage 4, you have a 500% increased risk for cognitive decline and traumatic falls. Getting a prescriptive treatment plan and hearing equipment in Stage 1 has the best possible long term prognosis.”

Dr. Washburn recommends that as soon as individuals experience symptoms of hearing loss, tinnitus, imbalance, or cognitive/memory issues, they make an appointment with an audiologist.

“Prescription hearing treatment has been shown in multiple longitudinal studies to delay the onset and reduce the progression of cognitive decline by up to 3 years; compared to only 6 months with LEQEMBI” Dr. Washburn said.

If you think you’re experiencing hearing loss, don’t wait. Visit the practice’s website to schedule a consultation with Love to Hear Again Audiology or learn more about its services. Prospective patients may also call the practice at 817-722-6156. We never want a barrier to your treatment decision to be an up-front, lump sum - ask about our most popular auto-monthly plan.

The above story was produced by Multi-Platform Journalist Mary Katherine Shapiro with Community Impact's Storytelling team with information solely provided by the local business as part of their "sponsored content" purchase through our advertising team.