You’ve been avoiding calling us to see if you need hearing aids, but you’ve finally decided it’s time. Like many other people, you’ve been resisting this. But the inconvenience, the lost moments, the missing interactions, they all finally became too hard to ignore.
So it’s a bit frustrating when you’re at the hearing specialist’s office and you learn that you’re going to need to wait another couple of weeks for custom fit hearing aids.
That means that you will be losing some of life’s treasured moments for two more weeks. However, there is another alternative: a deceptively simple device add-on, called hearing aid domes.
What exactly is a hearing aid dome?
They sound sort of epic, right? Like hearing aids dueling in some type of ancient mythical arena. Only one hearing aid can emerge victorious from the hearing aid dome.
Well, it’s a bit less thrilling than that. They are rather cool though. Hearing aid domes are like little earbuds that you can place on the end of your hearing aid speaker. Usually made of silicone or plastic, they connect to the tubing of your hearing aid and fit around the part that goes into your ear canal. You can use them on both behind-the-ear and in-ear models. Here are the two basic functions:
- They guarantee that the speaker of the hearing aid is seated in an optimal position in your ear. And they help keep the speaker in place. That way it’s not moving around.
- In some cases, outside sound can impede the sound of your hearing aid and hearing aid domes help stop that by controlling the amount of outside sound. Hearing aid domes work to enhance the sound clarity and provide an extra bit of control when used properly.
Those little bulbs at the end of earbuds are similar to hearing aid domes. You will have to select the hearing aid dome that’s best for you from several types, and we can help you do that.
Different types of hearing aid domes
Most come in open and closed designs, each letting in more or less background sound.
Hearing aid dome types include:
With these, more sound is able to pass through little holes in the dome. You get the benefit of amplification while still being able to process outside sounds.
These domes let less outside sound in through fewer and smaller holes. These are better for more advanced hearing loss where ambient noise can be a distraction.
Power domes don’t have any holes and totally block outside sounds. With these, almost no outside sound can get in. These are most practical for extremely severe hearing loss.
Do hearing aid domes need to be changed?
Every two to three months will be the ideal schedule for changing your hearing aid domes (your ears are not the dirtiest place, but they aren’t the cleanest, either).
Hearing aid domes can usually be used right out of the box. That’s one of the best things about them.
What are the benefits of hearing aid domes?
There are a number of reasons why hearing aid domes are popular. Here are some common advantages:
- The outside world sounds more clear and natural: You can be sure your hearing aids create a clear, natural sound quality by picking the right type of hearing aid domes. That’s because some sound will still (likely) get in. We can help you identify the type that’s ideal for you.
- No fitting time: Not having to wait is one of the greatest benefits of hearing aid domes. You can pop them in and use your hearing aid right away. For people who don’t want to wait for custom fit hearing aids, it’s the ideal solution. And if you want to try out a hearing aid before you purchase it, they’re good for that too. With hearing aid domes, patients don’t need to sacrifice sound clarity to get faster results.
- You can hear your own voice: Some hearing aid domes are created to let a natural amount of sound get through. So you will still be capable of hearing your own voice. You’re more likely to wear your hearing aids more if they sound clear and natural.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes are fairly small, particularly when they’re tucked inside your ear. In this way, they can be pretty discrete.
And, once again, this means many individuals are more likely to wear those hearing aids more often.
Are there drawbacks to hearing aid domes?
You’ll want to be mindful of some of the downsides and trade-offs that come with hearing aid domes. Here are a few of the most common:
- They can sometimes be uncomfortable: Having something plugging the ear canal can be really uncomfortable for some individuals. Hearing specialists call this feeling “occlusion,” and some individuals can find it extremely unpleasant. In addition, if you take your hearing aid dome out too quickly (or don’t clean it often enough), there’s the possibility that it might separate from the tubing and get stuck in your ear canal. You’ll most likely need to come in and see us to have it removed if this happens.
- Occasionally, they can cause feedback: Feedback, though not that common, occasionally does occur. For individuals who are dealing with high frequency hearing loss, this is especially true.
- Some forms of hearing loss aren’t suitable for hearing aid domes: For instance, if you have profound hearing loss or high frequency hearing loss, hearing aid domes might not be the preferred option for you. Once again, the feedback can become an issue with high frequency hearing loss. It’s the hearing aid itself that’s a problem with profound hearing loss: you’ll need something that’s larger and which has more power than the types typically associated with hearing aid domes.
So are hearing aid domes for me?
It’s mostly a personal choice whether you use hearing aid domes. It’s your choice but we can help. And we will be able to walk you through all the pros and cons pertaining to your personal hearing health.
Some people may do better waiting for a custom fitting. For other people, the immediate results of hearing aids you can wear today will build healthy, lifelong hearing habits.
The nice thing is that you’ve got options.