You’ve been putting off 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 much.
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 obtain your custom fit hearing aids, it can be disheartening.
That’s another two weeks struggling with those lost moments before you can start getting them back. However, there is another alternative: a deceptively simple device add-on, called hearing aid domes.
What are hearing aid domes?
They sound kind of epic, right? Like some kind of arena where hearing aids battle in ancient, mythical combat. Welcome to the Hearing Aid Dome: Two hearing aids enter…but only one leaves!
Well, it’s a little less exciting than that. But they are rather neat. Hearing aid domes are put on the end of your hearing aid speakers like small earbuds. Generally made of plastic or silicone, they fit over that little part that goes inside 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 generally do two things:
- They guarantee that the speaker of the hearing aid is sitting in an ideal position in your ear. And they help secure the speaker in place. That way it’s not moving around.
- In some cases, external sound can interfere with the sound of your hearing aid and hearing aid domes help stop that by regulating the amount of outside sound. When used correctly, hearing aid domes offer you some extra control and work to improve sound quality.
Those small bulbs at the end of earbuds are a lot like hearing aid domes. You will have to select the hearing aid dome that’s ideal for you from several types, and we can help you do that.
Different types of hearing aid domes
Most come in open and closed styles, 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 advantage of amplification while still being able to process external sounds.
These domes let less outside sound in through fewer and smaller holes. For individuals with more severe hearing loss, ambient noise can be quite distracting and this kind of dome can help with that.
Power domes completely block the ear canal and have no holes. This means virtually no sound at all can get into the ear canal. These are most practical for very severe hearing loss.
How frequently should you change your hearing aid domes?
Every two to three months will be the best schedule for changing your hearing aid domes (your ears are not the dirtiest place, but they aren’t the cleanest, either).
For most people, hearing aid domes can be worn 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?
Hearing aid domes are popular for a wide variety of reasons. Here are some common benefits:
- No fitting time: One of the most popular (and immediate) advantages of hearing aid domes is that you don’t have to wait. You can pop them in and wear your hearing aid immediately. For individuals who don’t want to wait for custom fit hearing aids, it’s the best solution. And if you want to try out a hearing aid before you buy it, they’re great for that too. With hearing aid domes, patients don’t have to sacrifice sound clarity to get faster results.
- You’re able to hear your own voice: Some hearing aid domes are created to let a natural level of sound come in. This means you will still be able to hear your own voice as you normally would. You’ll most likely wear your hearing aids more often if they sound clear and natural.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes aren’t that big, especially when they’re in your ear. They’re rather discrete in this way.
- Everything sounds a bit more natural: By choosing the correct hearing aid dome type, you can be certain that your hearing aids generate a natural overall sound and enhanced sound clarity. Most likely, some sound will still get through and that’s the reason for this. We can help you identify the type that’s ideal for you.
And again, this will mean you’re not as likely to leave your hearing aid sitting in a drawer.
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. Among the most prevalent are the following:
- They can at times be uncomfortable: Having something plugging the ear canal can be really unpleasant for some people. Some people find this sensation, called “occlusion” by hearing specialist, extremely uncomfortable. In addition, if you pull your hearing aid dome out too quickly (or don’t clean it frequently enough), there’s the possibility that it may separate from the tubing and get stuck in your ear canal. If this happens, you’ll most likely need to come see us to get it removed.
- They can occasionally be more prone to feedback: Feedback isn’t necessarily typical, but it does happen. For individuals who have high frequency hearing loss, this is especially true.
- Not ideal for all forms of hearing loss: As an example, hearing aid domes won’t be the ideal choice if you have high frequency hearing loss or profound hearing loss. Again, the feedback can become a problem with high frequency hearing loss. It’s the hearing aid itself that’s an issue with profound hearing loss: you’ll require something that’s bigger and which is more powerful than the types commonly associated with hearing aid domes.
Should I get hearing aid domes?
It’s mostly a personal choice whether you use hearing aid domes. We can help but it’s your choice. And we will look at your individual needs and help advise you on the pros and cons.
Some individuals may do better waiting for a custom fitting. For other people, the quick results of hearing aids you can wear today will create healthy, lifelong hearing habits.
The good thing is that you have options.