After months (maybe even years) of waiting, you’ve finally resolved to give us a call to see if you need hearing aids. You have been resisting this like so many other people. But the stress of going through life without being able to hear has finally become too hard to ignore.
So it’s a little discouraging when you’re at the hearing specialist’s office and you find out that you’re going to have to wait another couple of weeks for custom fit hearing aids.
That’s another two weeks struggling with those lost moments before you can begin getting them back. But you could try a simple little device add on called a hearing aid dome instead.
What are hearing aid domes?
They sound kind of epic, right? Like hearing aids dueling in some type of ancient mythological arena. Welcome to the Hearing Aid Dome: Two hearing aids enter…but only one leaves!
It’s not really that exciting. But they are rather neat. Hearing aid domes are like little earbuds that you can place at the end of your hearing aid speaker. Usually made out of silicone or plastic, they attach to the tubing of your hearing aid and fit on the part that goes into your ear canal. You can use them on both behind-the-ear and in-ear models. And they generally do two things:
- They guarantee that the speaker of the hearing aid is seated in an ideal position in your ear. And they help keep the speaker in place. That way it’s not wiggling around.
- On occasion, outside 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 clarity and offer 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 choose the hearing aid dome that’s best for you from several kinds, 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 ambient sound.
Hearing aid dome types include:
These have holes in the dome that allow more natural sound to get through and into your ears. This helps your ear process ambient sounds while still getting the benefit of amplification.
These domes let less external 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. With these, almost no external sound can get in. These are most practical for extremely profound hearing loss.
How frequently should you change your hearing aid domes?
For best results, you should change your hearing aid domes every 2-3 months (your ears aren’t the dirtiest place, but they aren’t the cleanest, either).
Hearing aid domes can usually be used right out of the box. As a matter of fact, that’s one of their primary advantages.
What are the advantages of hearing aid domes?
There are a number of reasons why hearing aid domes are popular. Here are a few prevailing advantages:
- You can hear your own voice: A natural level of sound can get through some types of hearing aid domes. This means you will still be able to hear your own voice as you normally would. You’ll most likely use your hearing aids more if they sound clear and natural.
- No fitting time: One of the most popular (and immediate) benefits of hearing aid domes is that you don’t need to wait. You can un-box them, put them on your hearing aid and you’re ready to go. For individuals who don’t want to wait for custom fit hearing aids, it’s the best option. And if you want to demo a hearing aid before you buy it, they’re great for that too. With hearing aid domes, patients don’t need to sacrifice sound clarity to get quicker results.
- The external world sounds more clear and natural: By finding the correct hearing aid dome type, you can guarantee that your hearing aids generate a natural overall sound and enhanced sound clarity. That’s because some sound will still (probably) get through. We can help you identify the kind that’s ideal for you.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes are fairly small, particularly when they’re tucked inside your ear. They’re pretty discrete in this way.
And, once again, this means many people are more likely to wear those hearing aids more often.
Are there downsides 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’re not always comfortable: Some individuals are uncomfortable with the feeling of something blocking their ear canal. Some individuals find this sensation, called “occlusion” by hearing specialist, intensely uncomfortable. Additionally, if you pull your hearing aid dome out too quickly (or don’t clean it frequently enough), there’s the possibility that it might separate from the tubing and get lodged in your ear canal. If this happens, you’ll likely need to come see us to get it removed.
- They can occasionally be more prone to feedback: Feedback, though not that common, occasionally does happen. For individuals who have high frequency hearing loss, this is particularly true.
- Not suitable for all types of hearing loss: As an illustration, hearing aid domes won’t be the ideal option if you have high frequency hearing loss or profound hearing loss. For those with high-frequency hearing loss, again, it’s the feedback that becomes the problem. 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 type of hearing loss.
So are hearing aid domes right for me?
Inevitably, the choice 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 walk you through all the pros and cons related to your unique hearing health.
Some individuals might be better off waiting for a custom fitting. Others will build healthy lifelong hearing habits by opting for a solution that allows them to begin using their new hearing aids immediately.
The nice thing is that you’ve got options.