After months (maybe even years) of waiting, you’ve finally resolved to give us a call to see if you should get hearing aids. Like many, you’ve been resisting this. But the inconvenience, the lost moments, the missing conversations, they all finally became too hard to ignore.
So it’s a little discouraging when you’re sitting in the hearing specialist’s office and you find out that you’re going to have to wait another two weeks for custom fit hearing aids.
That means that you will be losing some of life’s treasured moments for two more weeks. Of course, there is another alternative: a deceptively simple device add-on, known as hearing aid domes.
What exactly is a hearing aid dome?
Doesn’t that sound sort of epic? Like hearing aids fighting in some kind of ancient mythological arena. Welcome to the Hearing Aid Dome: Two hearing aids enter…but only one leaves!
It’s not really that thrilling. But they are pretty neat. Hearing aid domes go on the end of your hearing aid speakers like tiny earbuds. Generally made of plastic or silicone, they fit around that little part that goes inside your ear canal, attaching to the tubing of your hearing aid. You can use them on both behind-the-ear and in-ear models. And they basically do two things:
- They guarantee that the speaker of the hearing aid is sitting in an optimal position in your ear. And they position the speaker so it won’t move around in your ear.
- In some cases, external sound can impede the sound of your hearing aid and hearing aid domes help avoid that by controlling the amount of outside sound. Hearing aid domes work to enhance the sound quality and provide an extra bit of control when used properly.
Those little bulbs at the end of earbuds are a lot like hearing aid domes. You will have to choose the hearing aid dome that’s ideal for you from a number of types, and we can assist you in doing that.
Different types of hearing aid domes
Open types and closed types each let in different amounts of background sound.
Hearing aid dome models include:
These have holes in the dome that allow more natural sound to get through and into your ears. You get the benefit of amplification while still being able to process outside sounds.
As the name implies, these domes have fewer holes and block more ambient sound than open domes do. These are better for more advanced hearing loss where background noise can be distracting.
Power domes have no holes and totally block external sounds. With these, nearly no outside sound can get in. These domes will be best for individuals with very severe hearing loss.
Do hearing aid domes need to be swapped out?
For best results, you should change your hearing aid domes every 2-3 months (your ears can be a bit dirty in there).
For most people, hearing aid domes can be worn right out of the box. In fact, that’s one of their biggest advantages.
How will I benefit by wearing hearing aid buds?
There are numerous reasons why hearing aid domes are prevalent. The most common advantages include the following:
- No fitting time: Not having to wait is one of the best benefits of hearing aid domes. You can put them in and wear your hearing aid right away. This is a perfect solution for individuals who don’t want to wait weeks for custom fit hearing aids. And if you want to try out a hearing aid before you purchase it, they’re good for that too. For patients who want faster results, hearing aid domes can provide a way to achieve that without sacrificing the quality of your sound clarity.
- You can hear your own voice: A natural level of sound can get through some models of hearing aid domes. This means you can still hear your own voice as you naturally would. You’re more likely to use your hearing aids more if they sound clear and natural.
- The outside world sounds more clear and natural: By finding the right hearing aid dome type, you can be certain that your hearing aids produce a natural overall sound and improved sound clarity. That’s because some sound will still (likely) get through. We can help you identify the type that’s best for you.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes aren’t very big, particularly when they’re in your ear. In this way, they can be pretty discrete.
And, again, this means many people are more likely to wear those hearing aids more often.
What are the downsides to hearing aid domes?
You’ll want to be aware of some of the downsides and trade-offs that come with hearing aid domes. Among the most prevalent are the following:
- They can at times be uncomfortable: Having something plugging the ear canal can be really uncomfortable for some people. Hearing specialists call this feeling “occlusion,” and some people can find it intensely unpleasant. Additionally, if you take your hearing aid dome out too fast (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. If this occurs, you’ll most likely need to come see us to get it removed.
- Occasionally, they can cause feedback: Feedback isn’t necessarily common, but it can occur. This is especially true for people who have high-frequency hearing loss.
- Not suitable for all types of hearing loss: For instance, if you are suffering from profound hearing loss or high frequency hearing loss, hearing aid domes might not be the preferred solution for you. For people with high-frequency hearing loss, once again, it’s the feedback that becomes the issue. It’s the hearing aid itself that’s a problem with profound hearing loss: the type of hearing aid typically associated with hearing aid domes is normally not large or powerful enough for this kind of hearing loss.
So are hearing aid domes right for me?
Ultimately, the choice of whether you should use hearing aid domes or not is mostly a personal one. It’s your choice but we can help. And we will go over your specific needs and help advise you on the pros and cons.
Some people may be better off waiting for a custom fitting. For other people, the quick results of hearing aids you can wear today will build healthy, lifelong hearing habits.
The good thing is that you have options.