The question, “Should I repair or replace my hearing aids?” can be a daunting one for many people. There are several factors that go into determining a solution and as you might guess and cost is just one of them. Here are a few tips that may provide some guidance.

How long have you had your hearing aids?

With good care, the average life of hearing aids is about five to seven years. Repairs may be made if your units are in good shape and haven’t had a lot of problems. However, the older the hearing aids, the less likely replacement parts will be available. Refurbished parts are an alternative, but may not last too long. If your units are more than five years old, they’re probably out of warranty and you’ll have to pay for repairs out of pocket. But before you consider repairs, consult with your audiologist about your recent hearing tests. If your hearing loss has changed over the years, you may want to consider putting your money toward new hearing aids rather than repairs. If you’ve had to make many repairs over the years, financially you may be better off looking at new units.

What’s new?

When you consider all the updates and changes that have occurred over the past few years in digital technology including televisions, computers and mobile phones, it’s no surprise that hearing aids also have seen some major progress as well. If your devices are more than five years old, there probably are some new advances that may improve your hearing health. Many hearing aids have improved speech-to-noise detection, wind noise protection, rechargeable batteries and data logging. These advances may be well worth the cost of new hearing aids.

What works best for you?

When it’s time to think about repairs or replacement, the biggest factor in the decision is your needs. If your lifestyle is sedentary and you’re happy with the hearing aids you currently own, making repairs may be the best choice for you. If you think your hearing aids still have a good couple of years ahead, repairs may be the way to go. Obviously, money is a big factor as well. You and your family can best determine whether it’s better to put dollars toward new units or toward repairs. While technological advances are worthwhile for many, some people may find that too many “bells and whistles” just complicate things.

However, if your hearing loss has changed significantly or you have physical changes in your ear (which happens as we age), repair may not be an option. Your audiologist can advise you and help you make the best choice.

Should I repair or replace my hearing aids? In the end, the decision is yours. But with the advice of family, friends and your audiologist, you should feel well-equipped to make the choice when the time comes.