“Should I replace or repair a damaged hearing aid?” is one of the more common questions we are asked. The candid answer needs to be, “Depends.” Choosing between repair or replace does not have a one best answer. It really depends upon the situation and the tastes of the person asking the question.
It’s worthwhile to state in advance, that all hearing aids, irrespective of their original quality or price, can be expected to break down eventually. Why? Mostly because of continued use in a hostile environment filled with moisture and ear wax. Both ear wax and moisture are natural, but your hearing aids don’t like either of them. Water can harm the tiny electronics while wax can generally ‘gum up’ the inner workings. In addition, there is obviously the possibility of breakage from an accident or dropping the hearing aids, and the inner tubing and other components inevitably degrade with time, so after some years you can expect your aids needing replacement or repair.
Probably the major thing you should consider when making the “replace or repair” decision is how you feel about your present hearing aids – do you like them, and the sound quality they produce? If you like them and are used to the sound that they produce or really like the fit, repair could be the better option for you.
Cost is obviously another key consideration. While brand new aids might cost thousands of dollars, repairing your existing hearing aids may be possible for a few hundred. The part we cannot answer in this article is the impact of insurance. A few insurance plans cover hearing aid replacements, but not repairs or have varying policies on full or partial coverage.
If you opt to have your hearing aids repaired, another topic that arises is, “Should I take them to the store I bought them from, or send them to one of the many repair labs who advertise online?” While internet advertisers will try portray your community audiologist as just a middle-man, that isn’t true. There are several benefits of staying nearby. Your local hearing professional will be able to establish if repairs are genuinely necessary, may be able to make small repairs themselves, or have relationships with local technicians that work on your model of hearing aid so you will lessen the length of time you are without it.If they do need to send the hearing aid back to the manufacturer for extensive repairs, they will make the process seamless for you and you might even get a better rate because they deal in bulk.
More choices are available to those who choose to replace their existing hearing aids. It is advisable to be open-minded about new styles and technology understanding that anything different takes some getting used to. Newer hearing aids are more compact and offer enhanced program ability to obtain the sound quality you want. The answer to the “repair or replace” question is still up to you, but we hope that the information we have provided will help you.