Donate your used hearing aids
Karon Lynn, M.A. CCC-A, Au.D.
It is estimated that one in every 10, or 36 million, Americans has hearing loss. As baby boomers reach retirement age starting in 2010, this number is expected to rapidly climb and nearly double by the year 2030. Most hearing losses develop over a period of 25 to 30 years, causing the prevalence of hearing loss to increase with age – up to one in three people over age 65 have hearing loss. Among seniors, hearing loss is the third most prevalent but treatable disabling condition, after arthritis and hypertension.
While the vast majority of Americans (95 percent) with hearing loss could be successfully treated with hearing aids, only 22 percent (6.35 million) currently use them. Less than 20 percent of all people who could benefit from hearing aids actually get them.
Some people choose not to use hearing aids, however, many others feel they are too expensive or they are not able to afford them. Fortunately, used hearing aids can be refurbished and reused, benefiting those who need them.
What difference can my old hearing aids make?
The high cost of hearing aids is one of the main contributing factors that prevent people from purchasing this technology. The more people who donate used hearing aids, the more people in need have a chance at receiving hearing aids to improve the quality of their life.
Can I donate my hearing aids even if they are broken?
Yes. Broken, old and used hearing aids of ANY size and shape may be donated. These aids will be cleaned, refurbished and fit to those who can use them. If the hearing aid cannot be repaired, it will be used as parts for other hearing aids.
Where can I purchase a refurbished hearing aid?
Refurbished hearing aids are available at Flagstaff Medical Center’s Audiology Department. The FDA does not allow the resale of all-in-the-ear hearing aids, so the most common style is the behind-the-ear aid. The price of a pre-owned hearing aid is less than the newer technology, however, with older technology there may be a reduced ability to decrease the background noises. For those hunting for a bargain and if your life style is not one of group meetings or other loud settings, you may want to investigate purchasing a pre-owned set of hearing aids.
Where can I donate my used hearing aids?
Donated hearing aids may be mailed to FMC Audiology, 1200 N. Beaver St., Flagstaff, Az 86001. To learn more about donating or purchasing used hearing aids, or to schedule an appointment for a hearing evaluation, contact FMC’s Audiology Department at 928 214-3728.
Karon Lynn, M.A. CCC-A, Au.D., is an audiologist in Flagstaff Medical Center’s Audiology Department.