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Educational Seminar with Lunch: Hearing Loss and Dementia

Treasure Valley Hearing welcomes you to join us for a special event in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association. Hearing loss and dementia have been linked in numerous studies. Learn more about how taking positive steps to improve hearing wellness can reduce the risk of dementia for yourself or a loved one. If you have been putting off seeking solutions to hearing loss, it isn’t too late to take action. Please join us as we explore the connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline, and discuss ways to slow down this process.

May 9th at 11:00 am

Location: Scentsy

2901 E. Pine, Room 221

Meridian, ID 83642

Reserve your spot by calling 208-938-3777

Speakers:

Christine Bubb, Alzheimer’s Association Greater Idaho Chapter

Jacquie Elcox, Treasure Valley Hearing

Complimentary Lunch!

Treasure Valley Hearing and our co-sponsor the Alzheimer’s Association are pleased to welcome you to lunch. To reserve your space – and so we have enough food – please call 208-938-3777.

Do you have a loved one with hearing loss and dementia? Are you experiencing symptoms of hearing loss?

It’s important to address symptoms of hearing loss. If you are experiencing any of the following, we hope you will make an appointment for a complimentary hearing assessment. Do you:

  • Have trouble understanding conversations, or have to ask people to repeat themselves?
  • Feel more forgetful than you used to?
  • Want to learn more about the difference between “normal aging” and dementia?
  • Have difficulty processing rapid speech?

Know the facts about hearing loss and dementia!

Here are a few things we will be discussing at our lunch. Did you know:

  • Hearing loss is the third most common health problem in the United States?
  • People with untreated hearing loss are 2-5 times more likely to develop dementia?
  • Research supports early hearing care intervention for reduced risk of cognitive decline and better overall health?
  • People with hearing loss wait an average of seven years before seeking help?

This is just the start. To learn even more and hear about what you can do to protect yourself, reserve your spot to join us for this educational luncheon. Call 208-938-3777 to RSVP.

Posted by Admin

Why Don’t More People Check Their Hearing on a Regular Basis?

We are always surprised that there are so many people out there who don’t hear well, but also don’t do anything about it. We are curious, why don’t more people get their hearing checked regularly? Is this supposed to be almost a duplicate paragraph of the first one?

We had to investigate:

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) estimates that there are 28 million people in the United States who are deaf or hard of hearing.

They also estimate that only about 6 million of those people wear hearing aids. That leaves approximately 22 million people who suffer from hearing loss, but aren’t doing anything about it.

It is entirely possible that they don’t even realize that they aren’t hearing well anymore, and it goes without saying that they obviously are not having their hearing checked regularly, or even at all.

Why? They have to know that they aren’t hearing everything, don’t they?

Actually, they might not. That’s the number one reason that people don’t have their hearing checked; they haven’t yet come to the realization that there is a problem. They aren’t actively refusing – they just legitimately don’t know.

Which brings us to the next reason…active denial.

These folks realize they don’t hear well, but they don’t think it actually affects them or those around them. They may think it’s not bad enough to get checked yet. They may not want to be a burden to their loved ones. They may just be refusing to face facts. In any case, they aren’t quite ready to get checked.

Cost is a large factor for many people.

They don’t think they can afford a hearing assessment and they are worried that the cost of the hearing aids will be more than they can afford. This leads to just ignoring the problem, because what does it matter if you can’t hear if you can’t pay for hearing aids? Additionally, more and more insurance companies are covering part or all of the hearing evaluation – and we do the billing for you!

The good news on this one is that we offer a complimentary initial consultation that includes a free screening.  We will bill your insurance for you. More and more insurance companies are covering part or all of the hearing evaluation.  Last but not least, we offer payment options. We are more than happy to help our clients navigate the entire process, something that not all clinics are able or willing to do.

Vanity is another big factor.

Some people just refuse to wear hearing aids because they imagine the large external devices of the last century. Luckily, there are new devices that are basically undetectable. Come on in, and we can show you just how small they come these days.

For most people, hearing loss is a gradual thing. It starts with needing the television a little louder. Or asking people to repeat themselves.

If you are experiencing this or any other sign that you might not be hearing as well as you used to, please come see us.

We’d love to help you improve your hearing and by extension, your quality of life. Give us a call and schedule a complimentary, initial consultation today.

We can’t wait to help you gain a better hearing lifestyle.  Here at Treasure Valley Hearing & Balance, we are committed to better hearing and committed to you! Contact us today and schedule an appointment.

Posted by Admin

Are Audiobooks Good for the Brain & Your Hearing?

With the prevalence of book clubs, commutes and workouts – there is an ever-increasing rise in the use of Audiobooks. What we are wondering is, are they good for your brain and your hearing?

Here’s what we found.

As far as your hearing goes, listening to audiobooks is the same as listening to anything else. As long as you keep the volume at a reasonable level and give your ears a rest now and then, there is no harm in listening to an audiobook.

But when it comes to brain function – it’s not only NOT harmful, it’s actually very helpful!

It’s a proven fact that listening to audiobooks helps children develop better listening skills, longer attention spans and increases their capacity to focus.

The truth is, though, that it works no matter what age you are.

Wearing hearing aids while listening to an audiobook is an excellent way to work on listening at your own pace.

Audiobooks allow you to multitask.

Now, we are not suggesting that you listen to an audiobook while you do something that requires extreme focus – like brain surgery – but when you are driving, or going for a brisk stroll, why not fill the time with a story or book that might change the way you look at life?

Some people learn better by listening.

Many people are auditory learners – meaning they learn better when they hear than when they see. For this part of the population, hearing a book works better for them than reading it.

It’s easier to imagine when you are listening than when you are reading.

Whether you are deciphering words, or hearing and imagining a picture – your brain is working, so one isn’t necessarily better than the other as far as actual brain function goes. But when it comes to really experiencing a story, hearing it might actually be better.

A study done in the 80’s showed that your brain uses the same function to decipher words as it does to imagine a picture when hearing. This means that when the visual bits of our brain are busy taking in the written word, there’s less of them available for creating an image of the content.

Our point is – you might actually get a better experience from listening to a book than reading.

Back to our original question – Are Audiobooks good for the brain and/or your hearing?

The short answer is that as long as you keep the volume at an acceptable level, it certainly won’t harm your hearing. And as we saw, it can really help both brain function and listening skills. So if you prefer audiobooks, stick with them.

If you are experiencing signs that you might not be hearing those audiobooks as well as you used to, please come see us.

We’d love to help you improve your hearing and by extension, your quality of life. Give us a call and schedule a complimentary, initial consultation today.

We can’t wait to help you gain a better hearing lifestyle.  Here at Treasure Valley Hearing & Balance, we are committed to better hearing and committed to you! Contact us today and schedule an appointment.

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 (208) 519-4552.

Posted by Admin

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