- Get a check up. Go to a doctor, preferably an ear, nose, and throat physician (also known as an otolaryngologist) to get a medical exam. The medical exam will rule out any medical reason for your hearing loss which would require medical or surgical treatment. You will receive documentation of your medical exam and a statement that says you are a candidate for hearing aids. Your doctor can also give you a referral to an audiologist or a hearing aid dispenser if your health plan requires a doctor’s referral for services.
Note: You have the option to sign a waiver saying you do not want a medical exam to rule out any medical reason for your hearing loss. However, FDA believes that it is in your best health interest to have the medical exam by a licensed physician before buying hearing aids.
- Consider going to an audiologist. An audiologist will perform an audiological exam to determine the type and amount of your hearing loss, and will counsel you as to your non-medical options to improve your hearing loss.
- Buy your hearing aid from a licensed hearing healthcare professional. This will typically be an audiologist, a hearing aid dispenser, or an ear, nose, and throat physician . Provide your documentation that you received from your doctor that states you are a hearing aid candidate. Ask your hearing healthcare professional to help you determine what features you will need.
- Be careful when selecting your hearing aid. Select one that is convenient and easy for you to use. Buy hearing aids with features that meet your needs in daily listening activities.
- Be sure you know how to care for your hearing aid. Ask your hearing healthcare professional to show you how to clean it and replace the batteries. Ask if you can have a copy of the written instructions.
- Ask about a trial/adjustment period. Most manufacturers provide a trial/adjustment period during which your hearing aids can be returned for a refund. A trial/adjustment period will allow you to test out your hearing aids to see if they work well for you.
- Check out the warranty. Like any other product you purchase, be aware of what parts or services are covered by the warranty.