Hearing aids are constantly evolving and you may find yourself with older versions as you upgrade to better models. The first thing to consider after an upgrade is whether you should keep the older models as a backup. They can be useful during cleanings, repairs, or if you’re concerned about wearing the newer ones in certain environments.
Once you’ve determined that you truly don’t need them, there are two obvious options – Donation and Disposal. Hearing aids are expensive, high-tech items that should be properly disposed of, at the least, and may even change someone else’s life as a donation. Here are some tips for donation and disposal of hearing aids:
There are several wonderful options for donating hearing aids and we encourage you to explore donation as a first choice. There are many uninsured adults who could greatly benefit from your generosity. Here are three options:
According to the Lion’s Website, “The Hearing Aid Recycling Program (HARP) enables Lions to provide affordable, refurbished hearing aids for individuals with limited financial resources.”
The National Hearing Aid Project was created by Hearing Charities of America (HCOA) and aims to improve access to hearing aids for low-income individuals nationally.
The Miracle-Ear Foundation
All Miracle-Ear stores accept Miracle-Ear brand hearing aids to recycle or upcycle for someone in need.
Please, check with each organization for their donation policies and to determine if your gift is tax-deductible. There’s also information on how to set up a collection area in your town if you’re inspired to do more to help others affected by hearing loss.
During the life of a hearing aid, proper battery disposal should be heeded and the same is true at the end of the hearing aid’s usefulness. If you are throwing out an old hearing aid, remove the battery first. The most common form of hearing-aid battery is the zinc-air button disposable battery. Other hearing aid batteries contain mercury and are subject to disposal protocols. Zinc and Mercury batteries should not be thrown out with household trash.
Larger hearing aid retailers and some hearing aid clinics will accept used zinc and mercury batteries for safe disposal. You can also check with your hearing healthcare professional or your County waste management office to find local collection programs.
There are other parts of a hearing aid that may be repurposed by qualified professionals. The best way to find out if that is the case is to donate the device so it will be evaluated and potentially reused.
It is important to remember that hearing aids are considered medical devices and, as such, they are regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). This means that they should not be privately given or sold to anyone else for personal use. Hearing health is based on each individual and requires customized care. Schedule a consultation with us to figure out the right hearing health plan for you.