For many hearing aid users, their first instinct when an aid stops working is simply to stop using it. You may not be aware that hearing aids can usually be repaired for a fraction of the original price, often within hours. For hearing aids that are still under warranty, there is no cost for repair. Repairs can also be done on aids that are out of warranty for a fee. Virginia ENT can handle the repair of many different styles and manufacturers of hearing aids, even those that are several years old.
What to Look For
Here are some common signs that your hearing aid may be in need of repair:
- The amplification quality may be "weak" or faint.
- The unit may not power on at all.
- The unit may power off and on by itself, or may only work intermittently.
- Static, distortion, or other noise emanating from the unit.
One of the biggest culprits behind malfunctioning hearing aids, especially in humid environments like Richmond, is moisture. To prevent possible damage to your hearing aid, don't wear your hearing aid when swimming, in the shower, or during activities when you anticipate perspiring a lot. If you are worried about moisture damaging your hearing aid, you may want to consider purchasing a hearing aid drying unit which will wick moisture out of the aid following exposure.
When Something Goes Wrong
If you have a malfunctioning hearing aid, the best course of action is to call Virginia ENT directly to set up a time to bring it in. Why? Because in many cases, it could be something easy and inexpensive to repair.
In many cases, a hearing aid malfunction is due to a cleaning issue. Ear wax, skin tissue, dirt, and other elements can clog up the unit and cause performance issues. Hairspray and hair can also clog the microphones. In some cases, the microphone may have gone bad, or the amplifier may no longer be working properly.
We have special tools that can deep clean the device -- or handle the necessary replacement of malfunctioning parts.
As long as the device is under warranty, Virginia ENT can repair the device at no cost to you. If the device is not under warranty, we do charge for the time we take to clean and repair the unit. Except for Medicaid, hearing aid cleaning and repair is generally not covered by insurance.
Fixing a Hearing Aid
Getting your hearing aid fixed is a simple matter of dropping it off with our audiologist, who may be able to repair it in-house. If the device requires a more in-depth repair, then we can usually send it to another specialized company, or back to the manufacturer for repair. In the case of hearing aids that are 5 or more years old, we work with companies that do "all-make" repairs, which take one to two weeks. If the hearing aid is 7 or more years old, it may be difficult to find a company with the necessary replacement parts.
You don't have to have purchased your hearing aid with Virginia ENT to bring it in for repairs. Many patients bring in their devices from other states and other providers for repair, or for follow-up care. We will charge for office visits, but if your device is still under warranty, you aren't charged for the repair.
Is your hearing aid no longer working, or not working as well as you'd like? Don't throw it away or stop using it!