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 others. But the stress of going through life without being able to hear has finally become too much.
So it’s a little discouraging when you’re sitting in the hearing specialist’s office and you learn that you’re going to have 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. But you could try a basic little device add on called a hearing aid dome instead.
What exactly is a hearing aid dome?
Doesn’t that sound kind of epic? Like hearing aids fighting in some type of ancient mythical arena. Welcome to the Hearing Aid Dome: Two hearing aids enter…but only one leaves!
It’s not quite that thrilling. They are rather cool though. Hearing aid domes go on the end of your hearing aid speakers like small earbuds. Usually made of silicone or plastic, they attach to the tubing of your hearing aid and fit around the part that goes inside of your ear canal. They’re made for both behind-the-ear or inside-the-ear-canal style hearing aids. And they basically do two things:
- They position the hearing aid speaker (the part that you listen to) in an ideal position within your ear canal. And they help keep the speaker in place. That way it’s not wiggling around.
- 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 improve the sound quality and provide an extra bit of control when used correctly.
Domes for hearing aids look sort of like those bulbs at the end of your earbuds. You will have to choose the hearing aid dome that’s ideal for you from several types, and we can help you do that.
What is the difference between hearing aid domes?
Open types and closed types each let in different amounts of background sound.
Hearing aid dome types include:
With these, more sound is capable of passing through little holes in the dome. You get the benefit of amplification while still being able to process external sounds.
As the name implies, these domes have fewer holes and stop more ambient sound than open domes do. These are better for more pronounced hearing loss where background noise can be distracting.
Power domes completely block the ear canal and have no holes. This means virtually no sound at all can pass into the ear canal. These domes will be best for people with very severe hearing impairment.
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 can be a bit dirty in there).
For most individuals, hearing aid domes can be worn right out of the box. As a matter of fact, that’s one of their primary benefits.
How will I benefit by wearing hearing aid buds?
There are numerous reasons why hearing aid domes are popular. Here are a few prevailing benefits:
- You can hear your own voice: Some hearing aid domes are designed to let a natural amount of sound get through. So you will still be capable of hearing your own voice. This makes the clarity of sound feel much more natural, which means you’re likely to use your hearing aids far more often.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes are pretty small, especially when they’re tucked into your ear. They’re rather discrete in this way.
- No fitting time: One of the most popular (and immediate) advantages of hearing aid domes is that you don’t need to wait. You can un-box them, pop them on your hearing aid and you’re good to go. This is an ideal option for people who don’t want to wait weeks for custom fit hearing aids. And if you want to demo a hearing aid before you buy it, they’re good for that too. For patients who want faster results, hearing aid domes can provide a way to accomplish that without sacrificing the quality of your sound clarity.
- Everything sounds a bit more natural: You can be sure your hearing aids produce a clear, natural sound quality by choosing the right type of hearing aid domes. That’s because some sound will still (probably) get in. We can help you identify the kind that’s best for you.
And again, this will mean you’re less 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. Here are a few of the most prevalent:
- They can sometimes be uncomfortable: Some people are uncomfortable with the feeling of something filling their ear canal. Hearing specialists call this sensation “occlusion,” and some individuals can find it extremely unpleasant. In addition, if you pull your hearing aid dome out too quickly (or don’t clean it frequently enough), there’s the chance 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.
- Occasionally, they can cause feedback: Feedback, though not very common, sometimes does happen. This is particularly true for people who are dealing with high-frequency hearing loss.
- 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 solution for you. For people with high-frequency hearing loss, again, it’s the feedback that becomes the issue. For those who have profound hearing loss, it’s really the hearing aid itself that’s the problem: the type of hearing aid typically associated with hearing aid domes is usually not large or powerful enough for this type of hearing loss.
Should I get hearing aid domes?
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 walk you through all the pros and cons pertaining to your unique hearing health.
Some individuals may be better off waiting for a custom fitting. Others will create healthy lifelong hearing habits by opting for a solution that lets them start using their new hearing aids right away.
The nice thing is that you’ve got options.