One of the questions most asked of hearing specialists is, “My hearing aid is broken or is not working as well as it used to – should I have it repaired, or get a new one?” The truthful answer has to be, “It depends.” The matter of whether to repair or replace depends on many factors, and the “ideal answer” is particular to the person asking the question.
For starters, it must be mentioned that hearing aids – regardless of how well made they are or what their original cost was – sometimes break, or start to perform incorrectly. They operate, after all, in an atmosphere (your ear canals) that is inhospitable to them because it contains cerumen (ear wax) and moisture. Both ear wax and moisture are normal, but your hearing aids dislike them both. Moisture can damage the tiny electronics while wax can ‘gum up’ the interior. Beyond the inhospitable environment, accidental breakage from drops, and wearing away of components both contribute to declining performance. You should be expecting that your hearing aids will need repair or replacement sooner or later. They are not going to keep going indefinitely.
So how do you decide between replace and repair?
The biggest factor really is you, and whether you like your current hearing aids. If you do (as a lot of wearers of older analog hearing aids do), it might be better for you to have them fixed than to switch to newer digital hearing aids with a different set of sound characteristics.
Cost is certainly another major thing to consider. While new aids might cost thousands, repairing your current hearing aids may be possible for a few hundred. Balancing this, however, some people have insurance coverage that will fully or partly cover the cost of new hearing aids, but which will not cover fixing them.
If you decide to have your hearing aids repaired, another question that arises is, “Should I take them to the place I purchased them from, or send them to one of the numerous repair labs who advertise on the Internet?” While internet advertisers will try to position your local hearing specialist as nothing more than a middle-man, that isn’t accurate. There are many advantages to staying nearby. To begin with, they can determine if repairs are in fact needed. Second, they may be able to get the repairs done on-site reducing the amount of time you do not have your hearing aid. If they need to send the hearing aid back to the manufacturer for extensive repairs, they will make the process seamless for you and you may even get a better price because they work in bulk.
More options are open to those who decide to replace their current hearing aids. You should be open to new designs and technology understanding that anything new takes getting accustomed to. More modern hearing aids are more compact and offer enhanced program ability to obtain the quality of sound you prefer. So the decision whether to “replace or repair” is still yours, but hopefully this advice will assist you.