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Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can affect you on the job: Tips

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Hearing Loss

Three types of hearing loss

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Have money left in your FSA? Spend it before it’s too late

If you are an employee with a Flexible Spending Account, you might want to double check your balance. Now may be a smart time to take care of your hearing healthcare needs, especially if you are one of the 48 million Americans1 with hearing loss. You can use your FSA for hearing aids, and if you hurry, you can still purchase with this year’s funds.

Why are FSAs important?

Many employers offer a Flexible Spending Account2 (FSA) as part of their benefits package. Sometimes referred to as a Health Flexible Spending Arrangement, an FSA is an account in which you place pre-tax dollars to cover medical expenses. FSAs save you money by allowing you to withhold pre-tax money from your pay, up to $2,600 per year.

Who can you buy for, and what does it cover?

These funds can be used for yourself, your spouse and your dependents throughout the calendar year. They can be used for:

  • Copayments
  • Deductibles
  • Medical and dental costs
  • Some medicines
  • Other health-related spending, including hearing aids

Why the urgency? Because FSA is “use it or lose it!”

Although you can spend the money on a wide array of medical services, medicines and medical expenses, unfortunately, it is “use it or lose it” money. You must spend the money within the calendar year. Although some programs have a grace period, others require you to spend all dollars by December 31st.

Can I use my FSA spending on my parents’ hearing aids?

Maybe, but only if you claim them as dependents on your tax return. Even if your parents live with you, they may not be your dependents, and therefore you cannot use FSA monies toward their healthcare. The same applies for your children. If you claim them on your taxes, you can cover certain medical expenses using FSA funds.

Looking ahead

Thinking about 2018? If your benefits package offers an FSA program, remember to elect to contribute funds next year. Check your employer’s open enrollment dates. If they are still open and you haven’t taken advantage of this tax savings, it may be the right option for you. Also, if you change jobs, you may be allowed to join outside of the enrollment period.

Don’t have a flexible spending program? We have options, too

Even if you don’t have this option, there are ways to keep hearing aids affordable. CareCredit® is a financing program for health-related costs that may help you pay over time.

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 (434) 422-4762 to learn more.

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Hearing loss can affect you on the job: Tips

More than 31 million Americans deal with hearing loss. Just 37 percent are at retirement age.

What this tells us is that hearing loss can and probably does impact millions of people on the job. The good news is that you can take steps to improve your situation at work as you deal with your hearing loss.

 

Be proactive in dealing with hearing loss

You may need to initiate a discussion regarding your hearing issues with colleagues, who may be unaware of your hearing issue, or are aware but concerned that they will say the wrong thing.

Tell them if you prefer email, messaging via text or IM, or face-to-face conversations. That initiative on your part can go a long way.

Explain that you are wearing a hearing device, and while you might not need them to speak louder, often speaking more slowly (or whatever you prefer) helps.

Don’t be afraid to be open with colleagues, and encourage them to discuss concerns – as it prevents misunderstandings.

 

Request an appointment

Click here to have a representative contact you to schedule a free hearing assessment. Discounts and financing options are available.

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Three types of hearing loss

There are three types of hearing loss: sensorineural, conductive and mixed hearing loss, which includes components of both.

The first step to finding solutions to what you’re dealing with is identifying your specific type of hearing loss. This helps your hearing practitioner and you identify options and prevent further deterioration or damage.

With this information in tow, your hearing practitioner can then explain the alternatives so you can make the best choice for your particular situation.

 

Hearing loss and you

Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type of loss, which happens when the ear’s sensory cells and/or nerves are damaged or harmed. This occurs often in older adults who lose their hearing gradually over time. Although permanent, there are options with a high degree of success.

Conductive hearing loss happens when sound waves cannot penetrate from the outer ear to the inner ear, sometimes due to a blockage, infection or trauma in the middle ear. Good news: this may be reversible.

 

Request an appointment

Click here to have a representative contact you to schedule a free hearing assessment. Discounts and financing options are available.

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Hearing loss at the holidays: No reason to be shy

Noisy situations, like the Thanksgiving dinner table, can be difficult for people with hearing loss, but they don’t have to be.

There is no reason for you to hide your hearing loss. It may be easier to pretend that you can hear what is being said at the noisy dinner table, but you know you’re missing out, and that’s not fair to you or to family and friends.

The best advice: if you feel you’re missing out, there is nothing wrong to ask for a recap afterward.

And don’t shy away from offering simple visual cues during a conversation, like placing your hand to your ear.

You’re not disrupting the flow of conversations to do that, and you’re signaling to the speaker that you want to hear what they have to say.

In the end, they’ll appreciate it, and want to make sure that you’re included.

 

Request an appointment

Click here to have a representative contact you to schedule a free hearing assessment. Discounts and financing options are available.

 

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