You take good care of your hearing aids, cleaning them daily and storing them properly. But sometimes even with the best care, a problem occurs. Here are some frequently asked questions about hearing aid repairs.

1. Can you make repairs at home?

Depending upon the problem, there’s a good possibility that you can repair your units at home. First, do some troubleshooting to determine what the issue may be. There are a few components to check, including: volume controls, batteries and on/off switches. Make sure nothing was inadvertently changed. Check the batteries to see that they’re sitting properly in the case and can touch the contacts. If that doesn’t work, replace them. Clean your units thoroughly to remove any wax or debris. Next, reinsert your hearing aids to make sure they sit properly in your ears.

2. Do you have to send hearing aids out for repairs?

Not necessarily. If you were unable to fix the problem at home, the next step is to contact your audiologist. The office can make some repairs in-house, including replacing battery doors, replacing cracked tubes, repairing tube blockages and deep cleaning wax build-up. If the repairs cannot be made by your audiologist’s office, you probably will have to send them to the manufacturer for repair.

3. What is the cost of manufacturer repairs?

The cost of repairs depends upon two main things – whether or not your hearing aids are under warranty and the type of damage. If your units are under two years of age, there’s a good chance your warranty will cover all repairs. If they’re older and you have an extended warranty, you probably are also covered.

If your hearing aids are out of warranty, repairs can run $400 or more for a broken microphone, a short or water damage. More serious issues such as cracked casings may cost more or may not be repairable. If refurbishments are made, the manufacturer or repair lab typically issues a one-year warranty on those repairs.

4. Is replacement better than repairs?

This also depends upon the type of damage as well as the age of your units. If your hearing aids are cracked and/or are custom-molded, repairs may not be possible. Sometimes replacement parts are unavailable for older units. If they can be found, often they’re reconditioned and not under warranty. For much older units (those over five years of age) you may want to consider replacement. Your prescription may have changed or you may want to take advantage of new technology that was not available on your old hearing aids.

It’s worrisome when your hearing aids don’t work properly. The best way to avoid costly repairs is to clean your units daily to keep them in proper working order. The more familiar you are with your hearing aids, the better prepared you are to troubleshoot problems at home. Minor hearing aid repairs may be made at home or at your audiologist. If you’re concerned about potential damage, investing in an extended warranty is a good idea.