Determining Whether Hearing Aids Are Right for You

Audiological Evaluation
The first step in your hearing health care will be a complete hearing test (audiological evaluation).
At UW Hospital and Clinics, complete audiological evaluations are conducted in a specially sound-treated booth. The evaluation is performed by an audiologist and usually takes about 30 to 60 minutes. The hearing test will define the type and degree of hearing loss you have.
Following the evaluation, the audiologist will discuss test findings with you. If the audiologist feels you may benefit from the use of hearing aids, it will be briefly discussed at this time.
Medical Evaluation
Some hearing losses can be a sign of an underlying medical problem, and approximately 10 percent of all hearing loss can be helped with medical treatment. For these reasons, it is important that you undergo a complete medical examination of your ears by an otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat specialist) or nurse practitioner before you purchase a hearing instrument.
If you are younger than 19 years of age, federal and Wisconsin state laws require that a licensed physician, preferably an ear specialist, examine your ears before you purchase hearing aids.
If you are 18 years of age or older, you may sign a waiver declining a medical examination. However, it is not in your best interest to do so. Therefore, our policy at UW Hospital and Clinics requires an examination by an ear, nose, and throat specialist (ENT or otolaryngologist) or nurse practitioner working under the supervision of an ENT specialist at this facility within six months prior to the hearing aid fitting.
If the physician or nurse practitioner determines that medical treatment is not warranted, he or she will sign a consent form indicating that your ears were examined and you are medically cleared to be fitted with a hearing instrument (hearing aid). At this point you may move to the next step in the process: