Steps to Obtaining Hearing Aids

Obtaining hearing aids involves several appointments described below.

Step 1: 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 for hearing device

Next, it's in your best health interest to obtain medical clearance from your physician before being fitted for a hearing device. You must either have a written statement (medical clearance) from your physician or sign a medical waiver (only when no ear problems can be found) before you can be fitted for hearing aids. 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 devices and the latest breakthroughs in device technology, and what you can expect from your hearing aids. Together, you and the audiologist will decide which hearing aids are the most appropriate for your lifestyle, communication needs and finances. If needed, impressions will be made of your ears so that your hearing aids can be custom-fit.

Step 4: Hearing aid fitting and upkeep

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. During this visit, the actual physical fit of your hearing aids 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 upkeep (including warranty) of the hearing aids will also be explained. During this visit, you will have time to practice inserting and removing the hearing aid and the hearing aid battery, and to work with any controls the hearing aid may have.

Step 5: Follow-up hearing aid visits

A follow-up hearing aid visit is scheduled in the first few weeks after your initial fitting.

At this visit, any questions you may have will be answered and your hearing aids may be ‘fine-tuned.' Additional testing may be conducted, if needed.

Remember: it takes time to adjust to your hearing aids. As you learn to listen with them, your listening demands change. For this reason, expect to return several times to continue to ‘fine tune' your hearing aids. In addition to these initial appointments, you should return within the year for a hearing aid check.

Please keep in mind that visits limited to ‘fine-tuning' the hearing aids ‘ are not enough. Being committed to the process, not only by attending follow-up appointments but also by wearing the hearing aids during all waking hours, are the key factors to getting the most out of your hearing aids.


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. For additional health information, please contact the Center for Consumer Health Information at the Cleveland Clinic (216) 444-3771 or toll-free (800) 223-2273 extension 43771. If you prefer, you may visit or This document was last reviewed on: 10/12/2012