Figuring out your Flex Spending Account can be a tricky business. Somewhere in the process, pre-taxed money is transferred from your paycheck into your FSA so you can save what you would have paid in taxes and spend what you need on health care, like that annual eye exam you’ve been putting off. You will be saving an average of 30%, or $300 for every $1000 you transfer into your FSA! The key thing to remember, of course, is not forgetting to spend the money before it expires at the end of the year.
Many people forget that their flex dollars can qualify for anything from prescription eyewear to contact lens solution. Even if you need to use up your flex dollars before the new year hits, that doesn’t mean you should purchase anything you don’t need. Here are some suggestions for spending your flex dollars wisely:
Just as long as they really are fit to your prescription, sunglasses usually qualify for flex spending! And if you wear glasses, these are a great option to choose instead of always switching to contacts before hitting the beach. Polarized prescription sunwear is also beneficial, especially if you enjoy a lot of outdoor activities.
Running out of contact lenses is a royal pain, so stocking up on extra sets is the perfect way to spend your flex dollars. You can also use the money to purchase a year’s’ worth of necessary items like contact lens cleaning solutions, enzyme cleaners, and eye drops.
If you work on a computer all day, play a lot of sports, or simply want to change up your look, your flex dollars can go toward your second pair of eyewear! Blue-blocking, anti-glare lenses are great for computer use. Sports safety glasses or goggles offer both increased visual acuity and great eye protection.
Talk to us if you have extra flex spending dollars. You don’t want to lose out on their great benefits, schedule an appointment with us today!
During peak allergy season (spring and fall), avoid being outdoors as much as possible. This will reduce the risk of being in direct contact with free-floating allergens and will lessen the chances of the pesky pollen sticking to your clothing.
Maintain a strict shower regimen. Consider switching to night showers if you don’t already to remove stubborn allergens from your hair and skin. A hot shower also helps clear nasal passages, so you can breathe easier at night. Make sure you are washing your hands frequently, too, especially if you have pets.
Do the Laundry
To save face, keep the bedding clean from any pollen, dust, and dander that can accumulate on your sheets and pillowcases. It might be helpful to invest in a mattress cover to protect your sensitive eyes from dust mites looking for a cozy rest stop. Remember, pets can cause allergy symptoms to heighten, so consider keeping the animals outside the bedroom.
Itchy eyes are the worst, but try to maintain a “laissez-faire” approach when it comes to your face. Using your hands to itch, rub, or otherwise keep in contact with your face increases the chance of additional bacteria and allergens getting under your skin. Resisting the temptation to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth can help with symptom flare-ups.
Heading to a friend’s house or to see relatives for the weekend? Ask about the allergen situation of the home, especially if they have pets or live in the country. Knowing possible triggers ahead of time can help you prepare better, even if that just means packing a few extra boxes of tissues.
If you find it difficult to stay indoors, even during high allergy counts, cover up as much as possible. Sunglasses, in addition to protecting you from harmful UV light, can act as a buffer between air-borne allergens and your eyes. During allergy season, your eyes are generally more sensitive to light anyway, so opting for the shades will be a win-win.
Especially if you have pets, keeping the house allergy-proof is necessary for helping reduce allergy symptoms. Make sure carpets and upholstery are vacuumed regularly. Switch out furnace filters in the winter and keep the air conditioner running in the summer to ensure the house has clean air.
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- 410 W. Bakerview Rd., Suite 107
- Bellingham, WA 98226