Obtaining hearing aids involves several appointments described below.

Step 1: Audiologic evaluation (hearing test)

The first step is to have your hearing checked. An audiologist, a professional who specializes in evaluating and treating hearing loss, will determine the type and degree of your hearing loss and its impact on your ability to communicate.

Step 2: Medical clearance

Obtaining medical clearance from your physician is in your best health interest. The physician determines that your hearing cannot be improved by medical or surgical treatment. Before you can be fitted for hearing aids, you must either obtain a written statement from your physician or sign a medical waiver. Individuals 18 years of age or younger must receive medical clearance from a physician, preferably an otolaryngologist, prior to being fit with hearing aids.

Step 3: Hearing needs assessment

In this 1-hour appointment, an audiologist will discuss the various types of hearing aid styles, the latest technological advances, and what you can expect from your hearing aids. Together, you and the audiologist will decide which hearing aids are the most appropriate for you, given your individual lifestyle and listening needs. If needed, impressions will be made of your ears so that your hearing aids can be custom-fit.

Step 4: Hearing aid dispensing or hearing aid orientation

Your hearing aids will arrive about 2-3 weeks after your hearing aid evaluation. At this time, you will return for a 1.5-hour fitting appointment. The actual physical fit will be checked. Hearing aids should never cause you physical discomfort. The hearing aids will be adjusted or programmed to your specific hearing needs. The proper care, use, and maintenance (including warranty) of the hearing aids will be explained to you. During this visit, you will have time to practice inserting and removing the hearing aid and the hearing aid battery, and adjusting any controls the hearing aid may have.

Step 5: Follow-up hearing aid appointment

A follow-up hearing aid consultation is scheduled in the first few weeks following your initial fitting. This visit is important so that your audiologist can answer any questions you may have. The hearing aids may be "fine-tuned" and additional testing may be conducted, if necessary. Remember: it takes time to adjust to your hearing aids. As you learn to listen with your hearing aids, your listening demands change. For this reason, it is important to return for these follow-up appointments to obtain the maximum benefit from your hearing aids. You may require more than one follow-up visit to get your hearing aids "fine-tuned."

How much time is involved in obtaining and adjusting to wearing hearing aids?

Expect to return several times for the fitting and fine-tuning of your hearing aids. In addition to the initial follow-up visits, you should return within the year for a hearing aid check. Based on your listening experiences during the first few months of hearing aid use, you may have questions that need to be addressed, and your hearing aids may require some minor adjustments.

How much does it cost to get hearing aids?

Hearing needs assessment fee $100

This fee is payable at the conclusion of the evaluation, even if you decide not to purchase hearing aids. In most cases, this fee is not covered by your medical insurance.

Hearing aid cost: Price varies

Remember, hearing aids are an investment in your ability to communicate with family, friends, and business associates. Please be advised that Medicare and most insurance carriers do not pay for hearing aids or associated fees. We encourage you, however, to check with your insurance carrier to determine if hearing aids are a covered expense.

The cost of the hearing aid is determined by the style, size and level of the signal processing technology. The cost of the hearing aid covers all hearing aid follow-up visits for 1 year following the purchase of your hearing aids. Full payment is required on the day of the hearing aid fitting.

What about hearing aid returns and repairs?

After hearing aids are purchased, there is a 30-day right-to-return period for new and undamaged hearing aids. You will receive a refund for the cost of the hearing aids, minus the $300 nonrefundable fitting fee if the devices are returned within that period.

All new hearing aids are covered by at least a 1-year warranty for service. Many also have a damage policy. There is a fee for replacement of hearing aids that are lost or damaged beyond repair. The cost of repairs to hearing aids that are out of warranty will be the responsibility of the patient.

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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed on: 10/12/2012…#4599