After months (possibly even years) of waiting, you’ve finally resolved to give us a call to see if you need hearing aids. Like many other people, you’ve been resisting this. But the stress of going through life without being able to hear has finally become too much.
So it’s a bit discouraging when you’re sitting in the hearing specialist’s office and you find out that you’re going to need to wait another two weeks for custom fit hearing aids.
That means that you will be losing some of life’s precious 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 kind of epic? Like hearing aids dueling in some kind of ancient mythical arena. Only one hearing aid can come forth victorious from the hearing aid dome.
Well, it’s a little less thrilling than that. But they are rather neat. Hearing aid domes are like tiny earbuds that you can put 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 around the part that goes in your ear canal. They’re made for both behind-the-ear or inside-the-ear-canal style hearing aids. Here are the two general functions:
- They guarantee that the speaker of the hearing aid is seated in an ideal position in your ear. And they secure the speaker so it won’t jiggle around in your ear.
- In some cases, 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. When properly used, hearing aid domes give you some extra control and work to enhance sound clarity.
Domes for hearing aids look kind of like those bulbs at the end of your earbuds. You will have to select the hearing aid dome that’s ideal for you from a number of types, and we can assist you in doing that.
What is the difference between hearing aid domes?
Most come in open and closed types, each letting in more or less background sound.
Hearing aid domes come in different types, including:
These have openings in the dome that allow more natural sound to pass through and into your ears. This helps your ear process natural sounds while still getting the benefit of amplification.
These domes let less external sound in through fewer and smaller holes. For people with more severe hearing loss, ambient noise can be quite distracting and this kind of dome can help with that.
Power domes totally block the ear canal and have no venting. This means virtually no sound at all can get into the ear canal. These are most practical for very profound hearing loss.
How often should you change your hearing aid domes?
For best effect, you should swap out your hearing aid domes every 2-3 months (your ears can be a bit dirty in there).
Hearing aid domes can typically be worn right out of the box. In fact, that’s one of their biggest advantages.
What are the benefits of hearing aid domes?
There are a number of reasons why hearing aid domes are popular. The most common advantages include the following:
- The external world sounds more clear and natural: You can be sure your hearing aids produce a clear, natural sound quality by selecting the right type of hearing aid domes. That’s because some sound will still (probably) get through. Again, this depends on the type of dome, and we will help you with this.
- You’re able to hear your own voice: Some hearing aid domes are created to let a natural level of sound get through. So you will still be able to hear your own voice. This makes the clarity of sound feel a lot more natural, which means you’re more likely to wear your hearing aids far more often.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes are pretty small, particularly when they’re tucked inside 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, put them on your hearing aid and you’re ready to go. For people who don’t want to wait for custom fit hearing aids, it’s the ideal solution. It’s also good for individuals 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 accomplish that without sacrificing the quality of your sound clarity.
And, once again, this means many people are more likely to wear those hearing aids more often.
Are there downsides to hearing aid domes?
As with any hearing device or medical procedure, there are some downsides and trade-offs to hearing aid domes, trade=offs you’ll want to consider before making a decision. Here are a few of the most common:
- They’re not always comfortable: Having something plugging the ear canal can be extremely uncomfortable for some individuals. Some individuals find this sensation, called “occlusion” by hearing specialist, extremely uncomfortable. Also, your hearing aid dome can become stuck in your ear if you pull it out too fast or if you don’t keep it clean. 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 typical, but it can happen. This is especially true for people who are dealing with high-frequency hearing loss.
- Some types of hearing loss aren’t suited for hearing aid domes: For example, 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 problem. For individuals with profound hearing loss, it’s really the hearing aid itself that’s the problem: the type of hearing aid commonly associated with hearing aid domes is normally not large or powerful enough for this form 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 largely a personal one. It’s up to you but we can help. And we will look at your individual needs and help advise you on the pros and cons.
Some people may be better off waiting for a custom fitting. Others will build healthy lifelong hearing habits by choosing a solution that allows them to start using their new hearing aids immediately.
You have options and that’s the nice thing.