According to the National Institutes of Health, about 15 percent of American adults, or more than 37 million people, experience some form of hearing loss. That percentage increases with age, with many older adults benefiting from the help of hearing aid devices.
Quality hearing aids are designed to hold up and function well for a long time. You also can repair them if they are damaged or if a component is faulty. For this, you need a professional service that will provide exceptional hearing aid repairs, which can be a challenge.
This article covers how to choose a professional service to repair your hearing aids. It will help you determine which ones you can rely on for quality service and which you may want to avoid. Keep reading to find out how.
What Hearing Aid Repairs Are Possible?
First, it is important to understand what hearing aid repairs are possible. While many components can be repaired, replacement may be a better option in some cases.
Battery changes are not technically a repair but are one of the most common types of hearing aid issues. That is because, depending on the hearing aid type, battery replacement requires special tools, expertise, and experience.
Another common problem is water damage. While most hearing aids are water resistant, moisture is a threat to electrical components if it accesses the inside of the aid.
Beyond that, many hearing aid parts can become damaged or, for different reasons, fail to function as they should. These include the microphone, amplifier, telecoil, and control components. There are also non-mechanical parts, like vents, wax guards, earmolds, and ear hooks, all of which can become broken.
Questions to Ask a Hearing Aid Provider
There are many different hearing aid services out there, but not all are equal in quality and professionalism. Asking certain questions can help you identify reputable ones. Here are a few to consider.
What Hearing Aids Will They Work On?
Some hearing aid repair companies will only work on certain brands. Others will carry out repairs regardless of the type. Check with the provider and make sure that they will work on your particular device or if they recommend other options.
Beyond brands and models, there are adult and pediatric hearing aids. There are devices made for specific types of hearing loss or equipped with special features.
These include directional microphones, rechargeable batteries, or wireless connectivity through Bluetooth signals. Make sure that the provider is capable of working on your devices and the specific features that are experiencing issues.
Is There a Repair Period for Plans?
Most quality hearing aids come with a manufacturer's warranty for a specific duration. If you have recently purchased hearing aids and are experiencing issues, see if you are already covered.
If you are purchasing a repair plan, see what options are available. Typical ones are from six months to a year, during which you can receive hearing aid repair services. Weigh these with the life expectance of your device to get the best deal possible.
How Long Do Repairs Take?
Another important thing to ask a repair company is how long the service will take. While this is often impacted by some of the variables already mentioned, it is good to have a guarantee of when your device will be returned to you.
This will allow you to better plan for any important activities and life events. You will better be better able to anticipate how long you will have to go without your hearing aids or use a backup.
What Parts Do They Repair or Have on Hand?
As mentioned, not all parts of a hearing aid are repairable. Ask the provider how long typical repairs take and what sort of lead time you will be looking at if a part needs to be replaced. While most respected companies will have standard parts on hand, they may need to order a component if it is an older device or a less common brand.
Do They Offer Maintenance Plans?
Besides repairing noticeable issues, hearing aids, like all machines, can benefit from regular maintenance. This can ensure they are working properly and catch minor issues before they become big ones.
Maintenance plans usually include things like battery changes and cleaning. They also can be an opportunity to adjust calibrations and other settings of the device.
How often you should have your hearing aid serviced depends on the device. In general, you should do so at least once a year.
Do They Offer Additional Services?
There are reputable stand-alone hearing aid repair companies, but providers that offer a range of services are a good indication that they understand the complex field of audiology. This means that you are getting professional answers to your issues, no matter what they are.
Look for companies that sell a variety of hearing aids for different types of hearing loss and lifestyles. See if they do hearing screenings, which alone can be a strong sign that they have knowledgeable, qualified staff.
Do They Work With Insurance?
See if the company works with major insurance companies and Medicare. While repair plans may or may not be covered by your policy, going with a provider who regularly works with insurance companies is a good idea.
It will ensure you are aware of all coverage options. It also could come into play if they have to order new parts or replace the hearing aid altogether.
Find Hearing Aid Repairs Near You
Now that you know how to choose a professional for hearing aid repairs, you can move forward in identifying reputable companies. Having the assurance that your hearing device will be adjusted and maintained is a promising sign that the provider will do everything possible to optimize your hearing capabilities.
At Beltone, we put each client through a meticulous program to identify hearing problems so that we can formulate the best solutions. We offer the latest and most innovative hearing aid products and include complimentary hearing aid repairs. Reach out to us today to learn more.