You’ve been avoiding calling us to see if you need hearing aids, but you’ve finally decided it’s time. You have been resisting this like so many other people. But the hassle, the lost moments, the missing conversations, they all finally became too hard to ignore.
So when you do finally come in and then you find out that you will still have to wait another couple of weeks before you get your custom fit hearing aids, it can be disheartening.
That’s another two weeks coping with those lost moments before you can begin getting them back. However, there is another alternative: a deceptively basic device add-on, known as hearing aid domes.
What exactly is a hearing aid dome?
Doesn’t that sound kind of epic? Like some kind of arena where hearing aids duel in ancient, mythological combat. Only one hearing aid can emerge victorious from the hearing aid dome.
Well, it’s a little less exciting than that. They are pretty cool though. Hearing aid domes are put on the end of your hearing aid speakers like small earbuds. Generally made of plastic or silicone, they fit around that little bit that goes in your ear canal, attaching to the tubing of your hearing aid. They’re made for behind-the-ear or inside-the-ear-canal style hearing aids. And they basically do two things:
- They assure that the speaker of the hearing aid is sitting in an ideal position in your ear. And they help keep the speaker in place. That way it’s not wiggling around.
- In some cases, external sound can interfere with 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 improve 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 best for you from a number of kinds, and we can help you do that.
What is the difference between hearing aid domes?
Most come in open and closed types, each letting in more or less ambient sound.
Hearing aid dome types include:
With these, more sound is able to pass through little holes in the dome. This helps your ear process ambient sounds along with the advantage of amplification.
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 completely block the ear canal and have no venting. This means very little to no sound at all can get into the ear canal. These are most practical for very profound 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 aren’t the dirtiest place, but they aren’t the cleanest, either).
Hearing aid domes can usually be worn right out of the box. That’s one of the best things about them.
What are the advantages of hearing aid domes?
There are numerous reasons why hearing aid domes are popular. The most widespread benefits include the following:
- You’re able to hear your own voice: A natural amount of sound can get through some models of hearing aid domes. This means you can still hear your own voice as you normally would. 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 aren’t very big, especially when they’re in your ear. In this way, they can be rather discrete.
- Everything sounds a bit more natural: You can be certain 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 (probably) get through. We can help you determine the kind that’s ideal for you.
- No fitting time: One of the most prominent (and immediate) benefits of hearing aid domes is that you don’t need to wait. You can put them in and use your hearing aid immediately. This is an ideal option for individuals who don’t want to wait weeks for custom fit hearing aids. It’s also good for people who want to demo their hearing aids before they buy them. For people who want faster results, hearing aid domes can provide a way to achieve that without compromising the quality of your sound clarity.
And, again, this means many people are more likely to use those hearing aids more often.
Are there drawbacks to hearing aid domes?
As with any hearing device or medical treatment, there are some drawbacks and trade-offs to hearing aid domes, trade=offs you’ll want to think about before making a decision. Among the most common are the following:
- They’re not always comfortable: Some people are uncomfortable with the feeling of something filling their ear canal. Some people find this feeling, called “occlusion” by hearing specialist, extremely uncomfortable. 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 lodged in your ear canal. You’ll most likely need to come in and see us to have it removed if this happens.
- They can occasionally be more prone to feedback: Feedback isn’t necessarily common, but it does occur. For individuals who have high frequency hearing loss, this is particularly true.
- Not ideal for all forms of hearing loss: For instance, if you are suffering from profound hearing loss or high frequency hearing loss, hearing aid domes may not be the preferred option for you. For those with high-frequency hearing loss, once again, it’s the feedback that becomes the problem. It’s the hearing aid itself that’s a problem with profound hearing loss: the kind of hearing aid commonly associated with hearing aid domes is normally not large or powerful enough for this type of hearing loss.
So are hearing aid domes right for me?
Ultimately, the decision of whether you should use hearing aid domes or not is mostly a personal one. We can help but it’s your choice. And we will be able to help you understand all the pros and cons related to your personal hearing health.
For some individuals, it might be worth waiting the extra couple of weeks for a custom-fit device. For others, the quick results of hearing aids you can wear today will create healthy, lifelong hearing habits.
The nice thing is that you’ve got options.