Local hearing aid specialist chose career path because it sounded good to her

Written by Ben Cox – Local audiologist Dr. Kris Henry loves her field, even if most people don’t know what the word means. Henry dispenses hearing aids from the Livingston Hearing Aid Center in Commerce Square.

Henry began her journey towards the science of audiology at a much younger age than most folks decide their career path. “I decided to do what I do when I was 11 years old. I didn’t know what audiologists were, I just got exposed to sign language and thought it was incredibly interesting to be able to communicate without words. And I wanted to help people with hearing loss” says Henry.

A sign language course at Girl Scout Camp lead Henry and a friend to investigate and learn what they could from what few books they could find. This equipped them with enough vocabulary to “have pidgin conversations across the auditorium during assemblies and never say a word or get in trouble.”

Her experiences with sign language developed into an interest in hearing loss, and ultimately a degree from Oklahoma State, her masters fromUniversity of Colorado in Boulder then and a doctorate from AT Still University.

Henry has been in the field for 27 years, having run her own clinic for 17 years in Oklahoma dispensing hearing aids, as well as filling in for ENT clinics and area hospitals.

After selling her business, life took Henry to Brownwood and the position at Livingston Hearing Aid Center. The clinic is owned by a family, and is part of “the largest privately owned string of hearing aid clinics in the nation.”

Having 70 clinics nation wide offers a support system that Henry did not have when she owned her clinic in Oklahoma. “I have a lot of resources. Any time I have a question or want to brainstorm on how to really help a patient I have a whole team at our corporate office I can call on.”

Many people would be surprised at how prevalent hearing loss is. “1 in 5 Americans have untreated hearing loss. It’s now directly connected to dementia and depression in the elderly. Due to the lack of socialization and interaction that hearing loss puts upon you.”

Hearing loss affects more than just those with it, Henry explains. “People don’t realize how much compensation they do for themselves as well as all of the people around them. I tell family members I am not just changing the life of the person who is going to be hearing better. I am changing the life of the entire family. The TV can now be played at a volume where everyone can enjoy it, together, in the same room! They no longer have to raise their voices and come across as if they’re angry or frustrated in order to communicate with that person.”

Henry points out that the most noticeable things about hearing aids is if you need them and aren’t wearing them. “People don’t notice hearing aids to begin with unless they’re purposefully looking for them. What people don’t realize is their hearing loss is much more noticeable than anything they could hang on their ears.”

Livingston Hearing Aid Center is located in Commerce Square, between Buffalo Wild Wings and Aldi. They are open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and can be reached by calling 325-203-4780 or by visiting their website.

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This content was originally published here.