Hearing for the Holidays Event

December 12, 2017 • 2:00 pm–3:00 pm
Fellowship Hall at Cypress Lake Methodist Church
8570 Cypress Lake Drive, Fort Myers, FL 33919

Christmas is a time of giving and we want to inspire you to share the gift of
hearing with others who struggle to hear like you. We encourage you to invite
your friends who may struggle to hear and use this opportunity to guide them
toward a life of better hearing. Call today to reserve your seats!

 

239-690-6032

 

To help you share the gift of hearing at the event our guests will receive:

  • Certificate for a FREE Hearing Screening and Consultation (for you OR a friend)!
  • Certificate for FREE demonstration and trial. No moneydown. No obligation (for you OR a friend)!
  •  Up to $500 OFF the purchase of a pair of
    ReSound LiNX 3DTM hearing instruments!
  •  The gift of hearing as we listen to the
    Paradise Coastmen perform!!!

 

Free Hearing Health Seminar

Free—You Must Register to Attend—Light Lunch Provided

Get Directions  Register Now!

If your hearing aids are no longer enough, attend a FREE seminar to learn if an implantable hearing solution is right for you and meet doctors and audiologists. Unlike hearing aids, most hearing implants are covered by Medicare. They are also covered by many insurance plans and typically
Medicaid.*

IRS Warns of Scam Targeting Hard of Hearing Citizens

IRS Warns of Scam Targeting Hard of Hearing Citizens

If you have hearing loss, you know that even the simplest things like picking up groceries, meeting friends for lunch, or understanding conversations over the phone can be a challenge. Hearing loss, if left untreated, could leave a lot of room for vulnerability of safety and security. Recently, the IRS has warned about several new scams aimed at those with hearing loss. Scammers try to take advantage of anyone they can, and those in the deaf and hard of hearing community who struggle to communicate might seem like an easy target.

Who are Scammers Targeting?

The true of the matter is that con artists will take every opportunity they can get to steal your money, personal information, or even your identity. Since people with hearing loss have more difficulty understanding conversations and can easily miss key details, they’ve been the victims of several new scams.

Fake IRS Agents

Con artists target hard of hearing individuals, pretending to be from the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS. Responsible for collecting taxes, the IRS rarely contacts you, and a call from the IRS would certainly be unusual. Scammers call to inform you of problems with your account, ask for banking information, or request your social security number. They might demand payment, get aggressive, or even threaten to involve the police.

The Video Relay Scam

The latest scam the IRS has been seeing recently preys on people’s trust in the video relay assistance program. Video relay is an amazing program designed to help deaf and hard of hearing people communicate over the phone. It is a video telecommunication service that connects the individual to a sign language interpreter who signs what the caller on the other end is speaking. All in real time, the video relay service gives the same power of connectivity to deaf and hard of hearing Americans that those with normal hearing enjoy.

Unfortunately, scammers have begun targeting hard of hearing Americans through the video relay service. The service will connect any call, and the interpreter’s job is to help you communicate, not protect you from fraud or theft. Calling over the video relay service may make the scammer seem legitimate, but don’t trust them just because they’re using technology you use to help you communicate.

The Real IRS: What You Need to Know to Stay Safe

Real IRS agents will never make aggressive calls, or threaten you with police involvement. Even getting a phone call from the IRS should tip you off that something isn’t quite right. The IRS always sends letters in the mail to explain taxes owed, and you’ll never get a phone call out of the blue to collect money or personal information. They have set procedures for people with tax issues, and none of them involve harassment or fear mongering.

If the person on the phone is asking for money on the spot, hang up! A real IRS agent won’t ask for your credit card number, or demand payment without giving you time to ask questions or appeal the amount owed.

Have You Received a Suspicious Call?

If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, but they ask too many questions or try to threaten you, don’t disclose any personal information, and hang up the phone. If you are concerned about the safety of your account, call the IRS at 800-829-1040 to confirm your tax payment status and ensure your account is secure.

It’s also a good idea to report the phone call to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484, or file a complaint form with the FTC Complaint Assistant, so the caller can be stopped.

What to Do if You’ve Been a Victim of Fraud

You may have been the victim of identity theft or a scam if you receive a letter from the IRS about a suspicious claim on your account. Protect yourself by placing a fraud alert on your account, and submit an Identity Theft Affidavit if you think someone may have your social security number. You can find out more information about common scams by visiting the IRS website at irs.gov and typing ‘scams’ into the search box.

If you are hard of hearing or are struggling with hearing loss, it’s time to take action. Don’t let hearing loss hold you back, or put you at risk.

Credit: Atlanta Hearing Doctor

Welcome Back to School

Parents, as you begin to prepare your child for a new school year, consider preparing your child’s teacher by sending an “introductory” or “re-introduction” letter.

The letter allows you the opportunity to provide information about your child’s hearing status, remind the teacher about your child’s specific needs, and offer the teacher an opportunity to make classroom preparations necessary for an optimal learning environment.

Sample letter outline for parents: 

Date: [Date you are writing the letter]

To: [Teacher’s name]

Re: [Insert your child’s name]’s hearing loss and the classroom this school year

Dear [Insert teacher’s name],

[Introductory paragraph]

  • State the reason for the letter
  • Include a picture of your child for familiarization of your child’s face
  • Provide an overview of your child’s hearing loss, including current hearing status with what hearing device(s) they use, and any new changes in health or development.
  • Provide background information on your child’s hearing loss in the classroom. This would include information regarding last year’s educational placement and anticipated needs this year.

[2nd paragraph]

  • Restate your child’s hearing needs including providing information on your child’s hearing devices:
    • Include any literature or user guide information on your child’s hearing loss device(s).
    • Provide contact information for your child’s audiologist and when his/her last appointment occurred.
    • Provide the manufacturer support information including the website and customer service contact information in case the teacher can’t reach you or your child’s audiologist.
    • Provide guidance to the teacher regarding the importance of your child wearing his device all day, every day. Clearly state what settings the device should be on and the importance of verifying that the device is working each day and how to accomplish daily listening checks.

[3rd paragraph]

  • Restate your child’s hearing needs in the classroom, including:
    • Outline any classroom accommodations that may be necessary. These would include preferential seating, use of Wireless Mini-Microphone 2+, FM/Roger systems, list any special services they will be pulled out for and provide an overview of any physical limitations your child may have.
    • Highlights of your child’s IEP including any additional services they will be receiving this new school year.
    • Provide information on all school personnel that will be working with your child this school year.
    • Outline some potential boundaries to access for your child and easy things the teacher can do outside of the IEP, including eliminate background noise by shutting the door, face the students when speaking, avoid obscuring face with hands/objects, closed captioning, etc.
    • An overview of any summer services your child participated in and include copies of any pertinent reports that you want the teacher to review prior to the start of the school year.

[Closing paragraph]

  • Summarize again the reason for the letter and why it is important to you.
  • Thank the teacher for their time and efforts on behalf of your child.
  • Highlight the importance of open communication between the entire educational team that supports your child.
  • Provide your contact information and the best time to reach you.

Sincerely,

[Sign your name]

Hearing Fact Friday

#HearingFactFriday: 1 out of every 8 Americans has noise-induced hearing loss! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 40 million Americans, ages 20-69, have high-frequency hearing loss due to exposure to loud noises at work or in leisure activities. #noise #hearingloss #protection #hearing

A post shared by Starkey Hearing Technologies (@starkeyhearing) on

Why Do So Many Preemies Have Hearing Loss?

It is so very interesting how one can know two different facts very well but not connect them. For example, I have known from the very first days of studying audiology that the peripheral auditory structure is mature in the human by the third trimester of prenatal life. I have also known for a while that the incidence of hearing loss is higher in babies born prematurely, compared to those delivered after a full-term pregnancy. And when I say higher, I mean alarmingly higher. While between 1 to 3 out of every 1,000 newborns are expected to have hearing loss at birth, as many as 15 out of every 100 (not 1,000) preemies may end up with significant hearing loss. If babies are rarely born before the end of the third trimester, then can the higher incidence of hearing loss in preemies really be blamed on the prematurity of birth?

A little digging around made clear that others were far ahead of my disconnected thinking. Turns out that preemies are often on broad spectrum antibiotics to prevent the dire consequences of life-threatening conditions. These antibiotics may have to be administered without actual knowledge of existing disease conditions as there is not the time to wait for detailed diagnostics to determine targeted antibiotics to use. It turns out that a good portion of the hearing loss observed in preemies may be secondary to the ototoxic effects of antibiotic treatment and not a consequence of prematurity itself.

Can we have the best of both worlds? Can we have the bug-fighting characteristics of the antibiotics without the potential ototoxicity? The answer to these questions may soon be in the affirmative. A number of groups are working on various strategies to prevent the ototoxic effects of antibiotics.

One of the promising methods uses the strategy of enlarging the size of the antibiotic molecule so it cannot enter the outer hair cell through the stereociliary transduction channels of outer hair cells. Certainly, easier said than done because while the “designer” antibiotic should not be able to enter the cochlear hair cells, its action on the pathogens it is trying to combat should not be compromised. The difficulty of this task notwithstanding, there appears to be some progress and it may well be possible that we will soon have effective antibiotics that do not cause hearing loss.

Reference

Huth ME, Han K, Sotoudeh K, Hsieh Y, Effertz T, Vu AA, Verhoeven S, Hsieh MH, Greenhouse R, Cheng AG, Ricci A J. (2015) Designer aminoglycosides prevent cochlear hair cell loss and hearing loss. J Clin Invest 125(2):583–592.

via Why Do So Many Preemies Have Hearing Loss? | Audiology

Fireworks Can Lead to Hearing Loss

via Fireworks Can Lead to Hearing Loss

Protect Your Ears

Whether you are participating in recreational or professional fireworks, hearing protection is encouraged in both situations.  You could be at risk of having some hearing damage. There are two types of ear plugs that can be bought at your local drug store, super market or sporting goods store. There are roll-down foam plugs that go into the ear or headphones that sit over top of the ear. Headphones tend to be easier to wear, are more comfortable, and tend to offer more protection. If you will be setting off fireworks or are watching nearby, both roll-down foam plugs and headphones are strongly recommended for maximum hearing protection.

If a person suspects that they have had a change in hearing, a hearing test is advised. If changes have occurred, the doctor can determine if it is a temporary or permanent hearing loss.

Although fireworks are exciting, it is important to realize they can be dangerous to your hearing. With the right precautions you and your family and friends can enjoy the Fourth of July holiday without the fear of hearing loss.