May 10, 2012

Hearing Aid Tube Changes Shouldn't Require Several Expensive Visits to the Audiologist

From AllDeaf forum:
I did ask my audie for the tubing I need another extra, in case of emergency that I might need it so badly if it's smthg happened to my tubing damage torn apart, it already dries up cracked by itself that way I don't have to come back again. She said no, that I can't buy one until I have to come back after for only a short months, it makes me so mad tired of going back/forth.
I do not think this person should be expected to keep going back to the audiologist to get the hearing aid tube replaced; a simple procedure people can learn to do themselves.

I think everyone should try to learn how to replace their hearing aid tubes, if possible. I don't know many people who have the time and money to keep going back and forth to the audiologist to get their hearing aid tubes fixed or replaced. I replace mine often. I can't imagine having to make appointments every 2-3 months for such a simple procedure. Some people replace their hearing aid tubes more often.

If replacing the tubes yourself is not an option, find an audiologist who would be willing to replace your tubes for free or cheap. It doesn't hurt to shop around. I am appalled at some of the prices some audiologists and hearing aid dispensers charge for replacing the tube. No one should have to repeatedly make visits to the audiologist to pay a fee of 10-40 dollars each time for something so simple.


Helpful information about replacing old hearing aid tubes with new ones:

How I Replace An Old Hearing Aid Tube (Pictures Included)

How to Replace a Hearing Aid Tube

Changing the Tubing in Your Hearing Aids

How to Tube a Hearing Aid (YouTube Video)

Some places where you can buy hearing aid tubes:





  1. As a dispenser, I've seen patients attempt to change their own tubing, sometimes tearing the silicone, or sometimes using the wrong glue (such as Elmer's or Super glue) on a hard earmold.

    That being said, look for more, not less of charging for things like this, because due to pricing pressures, dispensers and audiologists are unbundling their services, i.e. instead of charging a flat fee of, say, $5000 for the testing, instruments, fitting sessions, follow-up care, cleanings, retubings & such, you can buy the aids for $3500, but then each of those other items will have to be paid for separately.

    Connecting the dots, a big part of the reason for this unbundling has to do with Internet sales: Yes, you can now buy hearing aids without seeing a dispenser or audiologist… But then, once they are in your hand, now what? Where do you go for the tech support you need? Do you think the local dealer or audie is just going to give away his or her services when you buy your instruments elsewhere?

    Dan Schwartz,
    Editor, The Hearing Blog

    Follow The Hearing Blog on Facebook

  2. I don't think it would be a good idea for people to buy hearing aids without seeing an audiologist and/or dispenser. I would never recommend someone to do this. But, for something as simple as hearing aid maintenance, I don't see why someone can't try to learn how to replace their hearing aid tubes, clean their ear molds, etc. If they are unable to, they can always go to their hearing aid dispenser or audiologist. There will always be people who need help from a professional with tubing and other services. But, I would hope they realize that they can shop around for similar services offering prices they can afford.

    If someone is charging you 40-50 dollars for tubing, understand that this is outrageous and that it would be best to look elsewhere.

  3. I totally agree with you. It is outrageous! When a center near my home had an offering of $200 for the lifetime of the hearing aid itself; for maintenance, batteries, tubing, things of that nature... it was such a good deal. I took it. I paid that three years ago and I go to there on a regular basis (every few months) to make sure all is fine with my hearing aid, as well as replacing the tube. It might be worth checking with the audiologist if they can offer a similar service.

  4. I once had my hearing aid tube replace and the audiologist charged me ten bucks. I was shocked and then they charged me $100.00 for a new ear mold. I thought gee...what is this a oil change? Something wrong with my car? WTF is going on? I find it outraguous prices for one tube and a new ear mold. I stop seeing that audiologist because I knew they were over charging the orginal price.

    1. I'm not sure why you think an audiologist should give away his or her services. Does Jiffy Lube change your oil for free? $10 for the audiologists time, supplies and overhead sounds quite reasonable to me.

    2. $10.00 is reasonable compared to what others can charge: $30, $40, sometimes $60. But you have to understand why some may prefer to change their tubes themselves, rather than take the time make appointments and drive to the office. Some people may prefer to change their own oil. Just like some people shop around for better prices and services. I don't think audiologists should give away his or her services, of course not!! They do much much more than change tubes. I may not go to a professional every 2-3 months to have my tubes changed, but I do go for other services throughout the year. But, people deserve choices and learn about what other options there are that would suit their needs and preferences.

  5. i get free tubes for free with my aids at my audiologist. i like doing it myself as i am picky about how long or short the tube is. she never cuts it right. so she gives me tubes when i want. i have bought some on ebay . u get like 12 for $9...but can't find the ones with the brass locks on ebay . (i like using the brass locks) my audio girl does not use those. i have bought from this place : they have everything u may need... in 2010 i bought 10 thick tubes#13 with brass locks for a total of $11.71 with shipping.... check them out!! i hope this helps someone......

  6. Fed up with audiologists that treat me like an imbecile, and not only do not let me replace tubing. The whole hearing issue is set up with the assumption that you are disabled, rather than realising that you can do many of the tasks like replace tubing, and heaven forbid, adjust your digital settings (within safe parameters) yourself. The audiologists never get it quite right, despite multiple visits, because my verbal description is not adequate enough. Please, change this health support model to having the client define what is required, rather than treating them as a "patient" who knows nothing, and cannot do things themselves. Might be fine for the very young and the very old, but for the rest of us, let us have more control!

    And ... it would be nice to have places that do ear molds on the spot, instead of having to wait 3 days for interstate delivery.

    1. As an audiologist, the reason we don't let you do your own adjustments is because there are WAY too many things to play with on new hearing aids. I spent 4 years in school beyond my bachelor's degree learning how and why we make changes and for what. It's my expertise; and although you have been wearing hearing aids for a long time, you probably don't understand all the research behind the algorithms in your hearing aid like I do. That's the reason that the hearing aid companies don't give software out to anyone without an audiology or dispensing license.

      About molds, there is one company that makes product to make on the spot molds. The material is expensive, and it we screw up, we have to start over. I'd honestly prefer to have the professionals make my molds for me, because that's their expertise. Also, hard molds require curing time and hazardous chemicals (ones that most of us don't want lying around our offices). You can ask your audiologist about rushing the delivery and can have them in 48 hours if you really want them. I know I try to see my patients every 6 months, and replace their earmolds before they've gotten too shrunken and hard.

  7. Yeah I just super glued my hearing aid to the thing that is connected to the hearing aid. It kept on falling off. I hope I didn't ruin it.

    1. I would ask your audiologist or hearing aid dispenser. I know that some audiologists use a special glue to keep the tube in place. I am not sure if they use super glue.

      Next time ask a professional before you attempt to do something yourself, just in case.

    2. If you glued the earhook to the hearing aid, that's not good. If you had to glue anything to anything on your hearing aid to keep it on, you need to have something replaced. Please go see your audiologist.

  8. I purchased a hearing aid a year ago that was covered under my insurance plan. However, I was responsible for a dispensing fee of $350 which I paid. Now that I needed a new tubing for my hearing aid, the audiologist in which I "bought" the hearing aid from charged me a $45 office visit (just for changing the tube!). Now, this audiologist is "in-network" under my insurance plan. I have a $25 co-pay. I told her I'll pay her the co-pay for the office visit since she's in-network. She implied that she doesn't think the insurance company will pay for "hearing aid" services. Why wouldn't they if that's what an audiologist does? Why else would I have an "office visit?" Besides I paid a dispensing fee!!

  9. A dispensing fee does not cover a lifetime of cleaning/checks and repairs to your hearing aid. It is possible your insurance will not cover hearing aid services, they often don't. They try not to pay for anything they don't have to. You need to check with your insurance provider to be certain.


Keep it civil.