You’ve invested a lot in your hearing aids and they work well for you. However, repairs are becoming a bit more frequent and friends are talking about new improvements in hearing aids. Should I repair or replace my hearing aids? Here are some frequently asked questions about repairing or replacing hearing aids.

Are your hearing aids working well?

If your hearing aids fit well, perform well and only need minor repairs, it may not be time to replace them. The age of the units is a factor as most hearing aids last about five years. Daily wear and tear, exposure to wax and debris over the years and the level of care all play a role in how well your hearing aids work. Even with regular maintenance, hearing aid microphones, speakers and battery compartments can deteriorate over time. A visit to your audiologist to determine if your hearing aids are up to manufacturer’s specifications may provide a few more years of service.

Has your hearing loss changed?

Have you noticed that you’re just not hearing as well as you did when you first got your hearing aids? If a thorough cleaning and check of the batteries and volume controls doesn’t fix the problem, ask your audiologist to check the fit to determine if there have been any changes. Still not hearing well? It may be time for a hearing test. If your hearing prescription has changed, new hearing aids may make a world of difference.

Will new technology improve your quality of life?

There have been many advancements in hearing aid technology and these changes can make a big difference for some people. For example, some of today’s hearing aids have batteries that only need to be replaced once a year. For someone with arthritis, foregoing the weekly battery change can make a huge difference in quality of life. Swimmers may be thrilled with new waterproof hearing aids. If you can’t hear telephone calls well in the car, Bluetooth hearing aids may be the answer. The cost of new hearing aids may be worth the benefits.

Does it cost more to repair than replace?

While some repairs can be done at the audiologist’s office, major repairs must be sent to the manufacturer. Typically, manufacturers do not stock new parts after about five years. That means that repairs to older hearing aids are made with reconditioned parts. If the quality of your hearing aids seems to be deteriorating, it’s time to consider buying new units.

Of course, cost also is a major factor. Insurance coverage varies widely. Some plans cover new hearing aids every few years while others may only pay once. Some plans may not cover hearing aids at all. Your audiologist has financing plans available to help you when it comes time to replace your hearing aids.

The decision to repair or replace is based on many factors, so weigh the benefits versus the cost. You’re the best judge of what will work for you.