Most people get nervous before specialist's visits.

Here’s a little secret: a hearing specialist visit is stress-free. No needles, no hospital gowns, and in the end, better hearing.

Before you make the call, though, here are three things you’ll want to know about the hearing aid process and what you can expect at the hearing specialist's office.

You Do Need an Exam

A hearing exam is actually required by federal law before you buy hearing aids. The FDA wants to make sure you know what you’re purchasing.

Before buying a hearing aid, you want to know everything you can about your hearing health. That way you can make an informed decision about which hearing aids work best for you.

The exam isn’t difficult, and it shouldn’t be a reason to avoid getting hearing aids. First off, the doctor will just ask you some questions about your hearing. This will be similar to the online hearing test you may have already taken.

A visual exam of your ears will show the doctor if there’s maybe a different reason than you’d expect behind your hearing impairment. A build-up of wax will definitely make it difficult to hear, but it doesn’t mean you need a hearing aid!

You Should Ask Questions

It’s really important you’re not intimidated during your specialist visit. Doctors visits can be scary, but in the end, it’s your health and your hearing at stake.

If you don’t understand something, make sure you speak up. Ask your specialist to explain which style of hearing aid will most meet your needs. Make sure you find out the total cost — and if there’s an adjustment period.

You can even ask about newer technologies. There may be a higher cost, but in the long run, it could be a worthwhile investment.

You Have to Adjust

The most important thing to know about your decision to improve your hearing: This is a long-term investment in your health.

But after so much time with less than perfect hearing, it can be a tough transition. It takes patience to get used to hearing aids. You probably won’t learn all of the features immediately, and it may feel unnatural until you’ve got them set to your liking.

You can work with the specialist until you're comfortable with your hearing aids, but don’t give up if it’s not perfect right away.

Before you make the call, take our free online hearing test and see if a doctor’s visit is right for you.

Photo credit: Martha Ramage