New Hearing Aids? Here Is What You Can Do With The Old Ones

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So the time has come for a new set of hearing aids. A common question asked by hearing aid users is the question of what to do with the old hearing aids? Should you keep, sell, or donate them? What about the batteries? Here is some useful information for old hearing aid disposal.

Keep
One option, of course, is to simply keep the old devices for a back-up to the new hearing aids. Hearing aids can be unreliable at times and fail without notice. It is a great idea to have a backup set to wear during the repair of the primary set.

Sell
If it is legal to sell your hearing aids in the state you live in, it may be possible to earn back a little bit of the money you originally spent for your hearing aids. Craigslist and eBay are good options, but you may find it challenging to sell your hearing aids if they are custom fit to your ear canal. The chances are that these custom devices are worthless to another individual. If your hearing aid fits behind the ear, reprogramming for another hearing impaired person may be possible. Please understand that you will not get back the amount of money that you originally paid for them. Also be aware that the buyer must pay a large fee for an adjustment so be mindful when setting a price for the devices.

Helpful information to have available includes:
• Year of purchase
• Make and model
• Warranty Information
• Battery Size

Donate
One great option is to donate used hearing aids to a charitable organization. Get a receipt for the donation, and you can write the donation off on your taxes. A well-known organization is the Hear Now Foundation. This program works with local hearing providers to provide hearing aids to those who have no way of purchasing hearing aids.
Recycling/Upcycling
If you choose to participate in a hearing aid recycling or upcycling program, you can help to ensure that hearing aids are available for all hearing impaired individuals regardless of finances.

A few of the organizations that collect and distribute hearing aids include:
• The Lions Club
• The Sertoma Club
• The UW-Madison Department of Communication Disorders

By participating in a program, you make a big difference in the hearing health of underprivileged individuals.

Batteries
The main factor to consider when disposing of a hearing aid battery is if it contains mercury. Audiologists typically carry both types as some hearing aids do not function well on mercury-free batteries. If a device’s battery is mercury-free, then the battery can go out with household waste. A recycling center that accepts hearing aid batteries will process the batteries with mercury. The battery packaging indicates the presence of mercury. If the label is not clear, assume it contains mercury as you dispose of it accordingly.
Disposing of a used hearing aid need not be a complicated process. Options include keeping, selling, recycling/upcycling, and donating. Remember that it is a good idea to keep a backup hearing aid. Try to be realistic when setting a price for selling a hearing aid, and do not forget to get a tax break if making a donation.

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