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Hearing Loss

Hearing loss in teens

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Hearing Aids

Hearing Aids Are Tax Deductible

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You think your hearing is fine: But, is it?

People can and often do fool themselves into thinking they hear better than they really do. Problem is, you’re not fooling your family, your friends, your co-workers.

They know, and deep down, you do, too.

What is happening there is your brain is compensating by guessing at what people around you are saying, and not surprisingly, you can often guess right, or at least close.

But you’re not going to get it 100 percent, and that can be frustrating for you, for family, for friends, and at work it can have some pretty negative unintended consequences.

No need to worry, though. Hearing technology has come a long way, to a point where cost really isn’t an issue, and if you’re concerned about how they look, and will make you look, there are many models that are virtually unnoticeable.

You may be the right candidate for custom-fitted aids that reside in your ear canal, making them invisible when worn. Other hearing aids also range in size and color and can be very cosmetically discreet. Besides being quite chic, today’s hearing aids are more high-tech, even offering Bluetooth® technology.

Our hearing care professional will be happy to discuss the various options available to you.

How Hearing Healthcare of Virginia can help

According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, hearing loss is the third most common health condition among adults. Our experts can help you stay connected and thrive in daily life. Understand where your strengths and areas of weakness lie so you can take steps toward improvement. Learn what to expect on your first visit with our experienced and reliable experts.

Contact us for more information on hearing healthcare

Hearing healthcare is vital to your well-being. Find out if you are a candidate for hearing aids with our free hearing assessment*. Call Hearing Healthcare of Virginia at (888) 430-1821 to learn more.

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Hearing loss in teens

Music cranked to full volume for hours a day. Video games. Movie theaters with surround sound. It’s no surprise when you consider modern life that one in five teens experiences some level of hearing loss.

The impact on youths is significant – in school, on the job, on the athletic field, socially.

There are steps teens can take to prevent or mitigate the impact of hearing loss.

Tips for teens

  • Use high-quality earbuds that more effectively transmit the bass, or use headphones instead.
  • Follow the 60/60 rule: No more than 60 minutes of listening at a time, and no higher than 60 percent of maximum volume.
  • Remember, if others can hear the music you are listening to through your earbuds, it is too loud.
  • Be sure and take breaks from listening to music, and try not to fall asleep while listening to music through earbuds.
  • Always wear earplugs at concerts and loud sporting events.

How Hearing Healthcare of Virginia can help

According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, hearing loss is the third most common health condition among adults. Our experts can help you stay connected and thrive in daily life. Understand where your strengths and areas of weakness lie so you can take steps toward improvement. Learn what to expect on your first visit with our experienced and reliable experts.

Contact us for more information on hearing healthcare

Hearing healthcare is vital to your well-being. Find out if you are a candidate for hearing aids with our free hearing assessment*. Call Hearing Healthcare of Virginia at (888) 430-1821 to learn more.

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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 (888) 430-1821.

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The World Health Organization’s Message for World Hearing Day 2018

Hear the future and prepare for it” is the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) message for World Hearing Day 2018. To that end, Hearing Healthcare of Virginia advises everyone to take care of their hearing health.

Take action for hearing health on World Hearing Day

On World Hearing Day, March 3rd, 2018, Hearing Healthcare of Virginia hopes to encourage more people to be mindful of their hearing health.1 Based on statistical projections, the World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed that the prevalence of hearing loss is set to increase globally, and this World Hearing Day discusses how preventative measures could help curb the rise. With more than 5% of the global population already affected by disabling hearing loss2, now is the time to raise awareness and address why people do not recognize the signs when they are affected.

Causes of hearing loss

Many things can cause hearing loss – both in and out of our control. The most common include:

  • Exposure to excessive noise
  • Genetic causes
  • Complications at birth
  • Certain infectious diseases
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Certain medications
  • Aging2

Approximately 60% of childhood hearing loss is due to preventable causes.2 Although not all hearing loss can be prevented, we can take action to take better care of our ears, such as wearing ear protection when working with loud machinery. More importantly, we can pay more attention to our hearing and seek advice from an expert if we have any concerns.

Hearing loss can be a slow process, so it can be difficult to read the signs of deterioration, and in many cases, is easily ignored. In comparison to loss of sight, hearing loss is not always noticeable. Many people have a vision test annually to maintain eye health. Unfortunately, many people don’t take the same precautions for their ears, because hearing is as important as sight.

Knowing the signs of hearing loss

One key element to maintaining hearing health is paying attention to the early signs of hearing loss, such as:

  • Having the television or radio consistently at a loud volume
  • Struggling to follow conversations (especially in noisy environments such as restaurants)
  • Asking people to repeat themselves often
  • Withdrawal and isolation to avoid tough listening situations
  • Repositioning to point your ears toward sound
  • Not hearing the phone ring, the doorbell or sirens

Untreated hearing loss can be detrimental

Our professionals urge you to address the symptoms of hearing loss. We advise you begin with a professional hearing assessment* to eliminate guesswork. Untreated hearing loss can cause serious long-term conditions, especially later in life, so we implore everyone to maintain their hearing care now.

Hearing loss has a number of side effects. Untreated, hearing loss can cause people to withdraw from socializing and lead to feelings of isolation and depression. Several studies have concluded that hearing loss contributes to the early onset of dementia, including the recent study authored by the Lancet Commissions on Dementia Prevention, Intervention, and Care.3 Addressing hearing loss is key to remaining cognitive and socially active.

Hearing loss is widespread – and growing

According to the WHO, approximately one third of people over 65 years of age are affected by disabling hearing loss2 and are potentially at risk of affecting their overall health if untreated. With the number of people aged 65 and above predicted to have doubled in 2050 compared to today4, age-related hearing loss is almost certainly a contributing factor to the increasing prevalence of hearing loss. That’s partially why the WHO’s slogan for 2018 is “Hear the future and prepare for it.” Now is the best time to act.

How can you take action on World Hearing Day?

Just by reading this to educate yourself, you are taking an important step. If you have concerns about your hearing, or have someone in your life who shows signs of hearing loss, make an appointment for a free, no-obligation hearing assessment* so you can learn more about your individual needs. Call (888) 430-1821 for more information.

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