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Hearing Aids

7 Must-Have Hearing Aid Accessories

Posted by Admin |

Hearing Aids

7 Must-Have Hearing Aid Accessories

Posted by Admin |

7 Must-Have Hearing Aid Accessories

Did you know that every May we celebrate Better Hearing and Speech Month? The theme for 2019 is ‘Communication Across the Lifespan’. If you have a hearing loss and wear a hearing aid, you are likely well aware of how much of a life-changing investment it can be. To make the most out of your hearing aids, we’ve put together 7 must-have hearing aid accessories.

Batteries

Batteries are the lifeline of your hearing aid. Although it may seem like a fairly obvious accessory, running out of battery power in your hearing aid has a direct impact on your ability to communicate.

Devices can be rechargeable. at Clear Wave Hearing Center we are pleased to offer the ‘Zpower’ rechargeable system for new and current ‘Opticon Opn’ ‘miniRITE’ hearing aid users. (All rechargeable devices require their own charger.)

If your device uses disposable batteries, then we strongly suggest that you keep spare batteries with you at all times. Batteries can last up to 10 days, but do remember to switch off your device when it’s not in use.

Cleaning Kit

Your hearing aid is a piece of modern technology that needs thorough care and maintenance. When you purchase new hearing aids, our team at Clear Wave Hearing Center will teach you the proper cleaning techniques. (We are also on hand for repairs if they’re ever needed!) Regular cleaning keeps your device working effectively. A cleaning kit should include all the items you require including a storage case.

Dehumidifier

If you are active, frequently go from hot to cold environments or you live in a humid area, we recommend investing in a hearing aid dehumidifier. Store your device overnight in one of these to remove condensation and preserve your hearing aids.

Bluetooth Compatible Technology

If you have a Bluetooth compatible device, there are many innovative products that could benefit you. For example, if you find background noise challenging, a wireless microphone in a central position will transmit conversation directly to your hearing aid, enabling you to more fully engage. A phone clip can do a similar thing, streaming calls, music and other audio straight to your hearing aid from a smartphone.

Caption Phone

A qualified hearing specialist can provide you with proof of your hearing loss and the need for a hearing aid compatible phone. That could entitle you to a caption telephone. This useful accessory shows a text of the conversation coming through the telephone for you to read along.

Note: This type of accessory may need a broadband internet connection.

Remote Control

A hearing aid remote control enables you to easily change the settings and volume of your device without removing it. You can also switch between audio sources and check your remaining battery level.

Television Streaming

It can be frustrating when watching television with others if you need the volume at a different level. A television streaming device sends the audio directly to your hearing aid at your desired volume, meaning you can all enjoy your favorite shows together!

If you’d like more information on accessories for your hearing aids, come in and speak with the hearing care professionals at Clear Wave Hearing Center. Call us on 507-208-7002, or click here to request an appointment online.

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Tips to Adjust to Your New Hearing Aids

Hearing aids and other assisted hearing devices are great tools for individuals who are suffering from a variety of hearing loss. The adjustment period that comes after being fitted for your specialized hearing aid can be a tough time. Getting used to hearing aids is both a physical and emotional experience. We’ve put together some tips to make the adjustment easier.

It’s important to note that hearing aids are not meant to fix your hearing 100% – they are a great resource and tool to get you as close to you optimal hearing as possible. Because there are so many factors to consider when starting to wear your new hearing device, it’s good to remember that with some adjustments to your device and some routine, you’re hearing will accommodate and adapt to your new hearing aid in no time! A hearing aid’s job is to amplify sound to help you hear it, and understand it better. That being said, there are some things you can do to help better adapt to your new assisted device and get even better results.

Be patient – At first, it may be wise to only wear your hearing aid a few hours at a time. It’s going to take some getting used to, having a new device in your ear. The look and feeling of it may catch you off guard. It’s ok! The more you use it, the less you’ll notice this new change. If how it looks bothers you, consider changing your hairstyle or wearing a hat that can help conceal it.

Start out slow and quiet – When you first try out your new aid, it might be a good idea to do it in a quiet room, and keep things nice and quiet. Adjusting the volume too much can be problematic, so if you don’t have a lot of ambient noise or too many people talking, you can better focus on adjustments you may need to make to get the optimal assistance from your new hearing aid.

Practice active listening with friends and family – Having a hearing impairment likely means you’ve grown accustomed to having the T.V. up louder, or having your friends and family talk louder while you’re near. A great way to help your brain reconnect appropriate sound with voices and active conversation is by engaging your friends and family in group conversations. Make sure you’re attentive and looking at the speaker, then ask them to carry a conversation with others. This will help your brain identify familiar sounds and will also help you re-establish the connection between voices and people. Watch tv at a normal level and really focus on what you’re watching. Turning on the captions is a great way to make your brain really pay attention to the sounds it’s hearing.

Read aloud – When you sit down with a book in hand, simply read the words out loud as you go along. Again this will help your brain make the connection between words and sounds, and hearing your own voice helps gauge those new auditory connections your brain is having to remember.

Set reasonable goals – You’ve lived your life with a hearing impairment and that was enough of a struggle. Don’t be over ambitious and set frustrating goals that might hinder your progress. Keep a positive mindset, ask for assistance from friends and family and make sure you go to all your follow up appointments. The process can feel daunting but the very best positive results are 100% obtainable!

At Clear Wave Hearing Center, we have a variety of hearing aid devices available. Our team of professionals are not happy until you are pleased with your hearing, and this includes your hearing aid. If you’d like to come in, give us a call on (508) 208-7002 or click here to request an appointment.

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Can You Get a Tax Break if You Bought Hearing Aids Last Year?

The April 15th tax deadline is getting closer, and you may be finalizing your tax returns. When you’re looking at potential deductions, did you know that hearing aids could be tax deductible?

If you itemize medical deductions on your federal income taxes, you could deduct your hearing aids. It can be a great way to save money on life-changing investment you’ve made. Here’s how to save money on taxes with hearing aids.

Itemize Medical Expenses

Do you plan to itemize your medical expenses for the 2018 tax year? This is the first step you must take before you can deduct the cost of your hearing aids. If your total out-of-pocket healthcare expenses exceeded 7.5% of your adjusted gross income (AGI) in 2018, you can itemize any expenditures above 7.5% on your tax return. Perhaps you had a few large healthcare expenses in 2018; by itemizing them you’ll increase your tax deduction. Some expenses you could itemize include:

  • Visit to the optician (and new glasses if you had to buy a new pair)
  • Visit to the dentist / dental surgery
  • Surgery
  • Medical equipment (for example a new wheelchair)
  • Hearing aids and some accessories

NOTE: The threshold for healthcare expenses relative to AGI increases to 10% for the 2019 tax year. To see if itemizing your medical expenses makes sense of the 2018 tax year, we recommend speaking to a financial or tax advisor.

Hearing Aid Tax Deductions

Once you’ve started itemizing your medical expenses, you can deduce a variety of hearing-related expenses. As long as you still have the receipts, this can include?

  • Hearing aids, batteries, maintenance costs and / or repairs.
  • A guide dog, including veterinary, food and grooming expenses.
  • Hearing assessments or exams.
  • Home adaptations such as custom doorbells, specially-adapted burglar alarms or smoke detectors.
  • Equipment for your phone, such as captioned phones, teleprinters.
  • Televisions or accessories that amplify sound, provide closed captions.

Keep in mind the following:

  • Do not include medical insurance coverage that has been provided by your employer.
  • Deduction rates may differ if you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA).
  • You can only deduct the costs of hearing aids (or other related expenses) for another person in the household if you claim them as a dependent.

Donate Your Hearing Aids

If you’ve decided that you’re going to upgrade your hearing devices in 2019, why not consider donating your old hearing aids? These donations could be eligible for a deduction on your 2019 taxes if you donate through charities like the Lion’s Club’s HARP Program. Your deduction would be dependant on the value of your hearing aids at the time of donation.

Further Resources

Looking for more information on what you can count as a medical expense? See Can I Deduct My Medical and Dental Expenses? and further details on Medical and Dental Expenses.

Hopefully this has shown you how to save money on your taxes with hearing aids. To maximize your savings, we recommend speaking to a tax advisor. If you’re already thinking ahead to your 2019 tax returns, start keeping all of your receipts from now. And when you’re ready to book in your annual hearing assessment, come in and visit the team at Clear Wave Hearing. Call us on (507) 208-7002 or click here to request an appointment today.

Posted by Admin

How To Protect Your Hearing Aids In Cold Weather

You may already know that the cold weather can impact your hearing. But did you that it can also impact your hearing aids? Hearing aids are useful devices, but to function at their best they require care and attention. The sensitive electronics inside your hearing device should be protected from freezing temperatures and moisture. Because moisture is often present in colder weather, winter can be challenging. Here are a few ways you can protect your hearing aids in cold weather.

When You’re Outdoors

If you’re planning on braving the cold outside, there are a few things you can do to protect your hearing aids:

  • Keep your hearing aids covered when outdoors. Use hats, scarves, earmuffs, sweatbands or headbands to keep the devices from becoming too cold or wet. Look for fabrics that breathe, to prevent perspiration. Earmuffs that reduce high levels of noise are also available.
  • The cold itself can slow or drain your device’s batteries. Keep spare batteries with you in case you need to change them out.
  • Check the IP level of your device, consider purchasing a more water resistant one.
  • Remove your hearing aids if you’re planning on any winter sports, such as snowboarding or skiing.

When You’re Indoors

You’ve taken the necessary precautions when outdoors, but there are also things you can to do protect your devices when you’re indoors:

  • Remove batteries overnight, store in a cool, not cold, area to safely dry.
  • To keep your hearing aids working longer, you may also consider using a hearing aid dehumidifier or dry aid kit overnight.
  • Do a quick sound check when you put your devices in. Rub your hands together near each ear. Can you hear this on both sides?
  • Avoid wearing your device in humid environments or whilst near water i.e swimming, showering and when playing sports.
  • Whilst indoors, wipe away moisture from your hearing aids by drying the outer shell and the battery compartment. A cotton swab should do the trick.

General Guidance

  • Be aware of excessive noise and adjust your settings accordingly or wear ear plugs.
  • If your hearing aid is quiet or creating crackling noises during the winter, you may be experiencing issues related to moisture exposure. Try to carefully dry it. You may also want to arrange for us to take a look for you.

The above tips will help to protect your hearing aids in the cold weather. If you’d like further tips on keeping your hearing aids clean, check out our Hearing Aid Maintenance guide. If you’re concerned that the cold weather has affected your hearing, call us on (507) 208-7002 or click here to request an appointment today.

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