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How to Have Summer Fun While Still Protecting Your Hearing Aids

Hearing aids and water just don’t mix, but water is a big part of summer fun. So how can you protect your hearing aids while still have fun in the great outdoors? We have all the answers you need to ensure that you don’t miss out on any summer fun when you plan ahead and follow our tips for protecting your hearing aids.

Tips for Protecting Your Hearing Aids

The key to protecting your hearing aids this summer is to plan ahead so that you never get stuck in a bind where they might be left in a position to get wet. In addition, keep the instructions that came with your hearing aids handy so that you can always refer to them if you have a question. Here are 10 tips for protecting your hearing aids from getting wet this summer.

  1. Find out what water rating your hearing aids have. Be sure to understand the difference between waterproof and water-resistant hearing aids.
  2. Carry a protective sleeve if your hearing aids are not water-resistant or waterproof.
  3. Do not leave your hearing aids in your car or out in the heat.
  4. Whenever you take your hearing aids off, dry them off or clean them off and let them dry out for a bit, if needed.
  5. Clean them daily with a dry, soft cloth.
  6. Store them in a dryer or dehumidifier overnight to remove any excess moisture.
  7. Give your hearing aids a break from long summer days. Consider finding some time, to take them out, clean them, and turn them off for a just short break.
  8. If you are traveling this summer, remember to bring your cleaning and storage supplies with you along with your connected devices and charger.
  9. Remember to keep hearing aids away from sunscreen and any other chemicals, hair products, or cleaning solvents. Even waterproof hearing aids cannot come into contact with any of these chemicals.
  10. Schedule regular hearing aid maintenance check ups with us to make sure your hearing aids continue to perform optimally.

Your hearing aids are a big investment, so you want to protect them and still use them to hear during all of your activities this summer. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call if you have any questions about protecting your hearing aids this summer.

Hearing Help Associates, Helping New Yorkers Hear Well Again

At Hearing Help Associates, we are always here to help you through all aspects of your hearing health. If you have any questions about hearing loss or hearing aids, please contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our hearing professionals today.

Posted by Admin

June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month: Did You Know That We Hear With Our Brains, Not Our Ears?

Since June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, we are highlighting the connection between Alzheimer’s Disease and hearing loss. Any family who has been touched by Alzheimer’s knows the devastating effects this disease has. While researchers have yet to find a cure, they are learning more all the time through research that is helping them put some puzzle pieces together. One such puzzle piece uncovered through research is that hearing loss is connecting to both Alzheimer’s and some forms of dementia. The reason there is the connection is because we actually hear with our brains, not our ears. However, when hearing is impaired, it causes difficulty for the brain, which is trying to process sounds.

Johns Hopkins Research

In recent years, researchers at Johns Hopkins have been studying how hearing loss might influence cognitive decline. During their research, the tracked a study group of seniors over several years and recorded which ones developed Alzheimer’s disease and also noted how quickly or slowly the disease progressed. In each study performed, people who had hearing loss had higher rates of dementia. Researchers have developed 4 theories as to why this connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline exists:

There is a change in brain function. As a result of hearing and auditory processing in the brain working differently over time, it could be causing a change in how the brain is structured.

  1. Taxing your brain’s cognitive load. When you can’t hear well, your brain is forced to work harder to try to interpret what sounds mean. This extra work might be making it difficult for the brain to concentrate on other functions including memory.
  2. The effects of social isolation. Many people who have hearing loss that goes untreated will suffer from social isolation. This feeling of loneliness and lack of interaction might be a cause of cognitive decline.
  3. Unknown causality. The fourth reason that researchers have hypothesized might be that there is a connection that is yet to be discovered between hearing loss and memory loss in the brain. More research is definitely needed.

If is important to mention that hearing loss itself isn’t believed to be what causes cognitive decline. However, it is the untreated hearing loss that causes the problems. That is why getting treatment for hearing loss is imperative to your overall hearing and cognitive health.

Hearing Help Associates, Helping New Yorkers Hear Well Again

At Hearing Help Associates, we are always here to help you through all aspects of your hearing health. If you have any questions about the treatment of or preventing hearing loss, please contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our hearing professionals today.

Posted by Admin

Making Better Choices During Better Hearing and Speech Month

It’s no secret, but your hearing health matters! Especially in May, which is Better Hearing and Speech Month. It means the difference between hearing the most important parts of the conversation, such as medical information, dates, prices or can’t-miss work-related details and missing vital information. At other times it may mean not hearing every story your grandkids want to tell you about their busy days. Maybe it’s something someone wants to whisper for your ears only. Whatever your circumstances, you deserve to hear well!

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month

Every May the hearing care community gets the word out that it’s important to focus on hearing wellness. This year professionals such as the team at Hearing Help Associates advocate for individuals to get their annual hearing assessment – if only to check against future testing – and to learn about hearing wellness.

Five things you can do to improve your hearing wellness

As part of your overall wellness, it’s important to focus on your hearing. That means much more than just getting your ears checked. It means investing in yourself in other ways. Here are some general dos and don’ts to consider this May:

  1. Use hearing protection – it’s key to preventing hearing loss. Avoid loud noise and if you will be around places with excessive volume, wear earplugs or other protective gear. Especially if your plans include concerts or explosives, such as fireworks. If you are not sure how loud something is, you can download a decibel app on your cellphone.
  2. Eat well and go bananas! Just as carrots are famous for helping vision, did you know that potassium is linked to auditory wellness? Other good things to eat include foods high in folic acid, such as spinach, broccoli, asparagus – and organ-meats, like liver.
  3. Don’t use Q-tips in your ears. If you grew up hearing “don’t put anything smaller than your elbow in your ears,” continue to heed that advice. The inner ear canal is sensitive.
  4. Be active. Exercise helps hearing. There’s a positive link between cardiovascular health and hearing acuity in recent studies.
  5. Know how well you hear! Make sure you have an annual hearing assessment. If you discover you have hearing loss, you aren’t alone. Some 48 million Americans1 have hearing loss. Even more have tinnitus (ringing in the ears).

Don’t be afraid to address hearing loss

Untreated hearing loss is linked with higher instances of dementia and depression, and it is linked to lower household income, if untreated.1 That’s why it’s important to use hearing aids, if warranted. Hearing well makes communication easier and allows individuals to communicate with confidence.

Can’t make it in May? Hearing wellness matters all year long

While Better Hearing and Speech Month is celebrated in May, we believe your hearing wellness matters all year long. Whether you need your hearing aids cleaned or want to help with handling a loved one’s hearing loss, we’re there to help address your hearing needs. Call (866) 604-8057 to make an appointment to make a no-obligation appointment.

1 Hearing Loss Association of America.

Posted by Admin

Hearing Aids Are Tax Deductible

As the filing deadline looms large, you may be gathering those final details, including receipts for your deductions. Did you purchase hearing aids last year? If so, you’re in luck! Hearing aids are tax deductible if you itemize your medical deductions on your federal income taxes. In fact, the savings includes hearing-related costs for you, your spouse and your dependents. As with most things related to taxes, there are some caveats. We’ve gathered some of the most relevant information for you. And if you’ve already filed, keep this in mind as you plan medical spending for 2018, so you’re ready next year.

To deduct or not to deduct – that is the first question

Not sure if you can deduct your hearing aids? To start, you must decide if you will itemize your medical expenses or not. If you don’t itemize your deductions, then you can’t take advantage of this savings. However, if you have significant medical expenses, it might be worth it for you or your family to do so this year. For the next two years, if you spend more than 7.5% of your income on medical expenses1, you can deduct medical costs from your insurance. (Previously, the threshold had been 10%.) Some years, itemizing may make more sense than others. If you have invested in hearing aids and had other significant medical expenses, such as a hospital stay or surgery where you paid a portion of the cost, this may be the right year to deduct these expenses.

What can you deduct?

According to TurboTax2, the following hearing-related expenses can be deducted:

  • Hearing aids, batteries, maintenance costs and repairs
  • Equipment to link your phone, including phones with special ringers, captioned phones and teleprinters. If you had to pay for repairs, this is covered, too.
  • Televisions and related accessories that amplify sound, provide closed captions and their repair costs
  • A guide dog, including veterinary, grooming and food expenses
  • Wiring your home with special smoke detectors, doorbells and burglar alarms

Keep this in mind when considering hearing aids as a tax deduction

For many of us, doing your taxes can be confusing. If you are doing your own, here are a few tips:

  • When itemizing your taxes, use Form 1040 Schedule A – Itemized Deductions.3
  • The IRS offers an Interactive Tax Assistant online tool to help you figure out what expenses are deductible.
  • Remember to keep all of your receipts!

Of course, we are not tax experts, and highly advise you to bring specific financial questions to your tax advisor or an accountant.

Need more information on medical expenses and taxes?

You may wonder what counts as a medical expense. Another great source for information is the IRS’s information page on medical and dental expenses.3 If you have a person in your household, such as a parent or child, who purchased hearing aids last year, you can only deduct these costs if you claim this person as a dependent on your taxes – even if you paid for the hearing aids.

Already filed your taxes? No worries – there’s always next year

If you are a first-time hearing aid wearer or you are looking to upgrade, remember to save your receipts, because before you know it, you’ll need them for next year’s filing. If you know you will have significant medical expenses coming soon, this might be a good year to spring for the latest technological advances. That way, Uncle Sam can pay you back next year. For more information on the latest in high-tech hearing aids, give us a call at (866) 604-8057 .

Posted by Admin

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