Hearing loss affects about 48 million Americans, and if you’re older, you may be one of three people over 65 with hearing loss, while those over 75 have a 66% chance of impaired hearing. While some people resist treatment for compromised hearing, many have found that hearing aids restore the ability to communicate and enjoy life.

As miniature electrical devices that do their job in often-challenging locations in or behind your ears, wear and tear eventually takes a toll. Since hearing aids can be expensive, you’re faced with the decision to repair or replace when something goes wrong.

Sometimes, the decision to repair is practical, but other times it can be a better choice to replace your aids. It’s not always clear which option is the best. Let’s look at some of the factors that may impact your decision, so you’ll have an informed perspective when trouble arises. Many Insurance Plans Cover for New Hearing Aids every 3 Years.

Lifespan of hearing aids

Most hearing aid professionals recommend replacing hearing aids about every five years, and there are two factors that contribute to this opinion. First, most hearing aids reliably function for five years or longer before losing function.

Using the five-year guideline, you can be reasonably assured of consistent, uninterrupted operation of your assistive devices. It can be disconcerting to lose that assistance in the case of sudden failure, as you wait to replace your aids.

The second reason behind the five-year guideline is changes to technology. The pace of development with hearing aids means the devices that replace your aids in five years’ time will provide significant improvements in design and function.

They may be more comfortable, sound better, or have features and programming capability better suited to your hearing loss.

The cost of repairs

One drawback of replacing your hearing aids is the cost. While repairs might run into hundreds of dollars, this can be preferable to spending thousands on new aids.

If your local audiologist doesn’t offer on-site repairs, you can be sure they regularly communicate with repair facilities, since hearing aids are subject to exposure to earwax, ear moisture, and damage due to accidental dropping. Across a clinic’s client base, repairs are a fact of life.

Repair or replace: a personal choice

You may face a similar decision-making process with an older car. There comes a point of diminishing return where repairs are no longer practical, but that point may be different for someone with mechanical aptitude and tools compared with someone who prefers to garden in their spare time, for example.

It’s also personal when it comes to hearing aids. Only you can balance all the factors in the repair or replace process. As well as features and budget, your level of hearing loss can play a role. Some people function well without their aids, while others are virtually cut off from the world. Your comfort level with each alternative often makes a choice obvious.