When trying to choose the best option for your amplification needs, there are some important key factors to keep in mind. When you choose to pursue amplification through a licensed Audiologist, you will be fit with hearing aids made by one of the main 7 hearing aid manufacturers. These hearing aids will be customized to your hearing needs, per individual frequencies, based on your hearing loss. Should you move or find yourself in a different audiology clinic, anyone will be able to service and adjust your hearing aids. Same day or same week appointments are usually available to meet your needs as quickly as possible, should issues arise.
When hearing aids are purchased through a big box store, the devices are from a subsidy of a main manufacturer and the devices are locked. This means that only those big box stores can service or adjust your hearing aids.
Similarly, when you purchase hearing aids online, it is important to read the fine print. It is important to determine if what you are purchasing is a personal sound amplifier [PSAP] (which brings all sounds collectively up and down together) or a hearing aid (which can be customized by frequency). This is especially important if you have high frequency hearing loss, with normal hearing in the low frequencies.
Another caveat to purchasing amplification online is that, if they can be adjusted per frequency, you often have to mail your hearing aids back to the company they were purchased from and wait for them to come back. This process can leave you without amplification for a minimum of two weeks.