After months (maybe even years) of waiting, you’ve finally resolved to contact us to find out if you need hearing aids. You’ve been resisting this like so many others. But the inconvenience, the lost moments, the missing interactions, they all finally became too much.
So it’s a little frustrating when you’re sitting in the hearing specialist’s office and you find out that you’re going to have to wait another two weeks for custom fit hearing aids.
That’s another two weeks dealing with those lost moments before you can start getting them back. Of course, there is another alternative: a deceptively simple device add-on, called hearing aid domes.
What exactly is a hearing aid dome?
They sound sort of epic, right? Like hearing aids dueling in some type of ancient mythological arena. Only one hearing aid can emerge victorious from the hearing aid dome.
It’s not quite that thrilling. They are pretty cool though. Hearing aid domes are like little earbuds that you can put on 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 inside of your ear canal. You can use them with both behind-the-ear and in-ear models. Here are the two general functions:
- They position the hearing aid speaker (the part that you listen to) in an optimal position within your ear canal. And they help secure the speaker in place. That way it’s not wiggling around.
- In some cases, outside sound can interfere with the sound of your hearing aid and hearing aid domes help avoid that by regulating the amount of outside sound. When properly used, hearing aid domes offer you some extra control and work to improve sound clarity.
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 ideal for you from a number of types, and we can assist you in doing that.
Different types of hearing aid domes
Open types and closed types each let in different levels of ambient sound.
Hearing aid dome models include:
These have openings in the dome that allow more outside sound to get through and into your ears. This helps your ear process ambient sounds while still getting the advantage of amplification.
As the name indicates, these domes have fewer holes and stop more ambient sound than open domes do. These are better for more advanced hearing loss where background noise can be a distraction.
Power domes have no holes and totally block outside sounds. This means very little to no sound at all can get into the ear canal. These domes will be best for individuals with very severe hearing impairment.
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 aren’t the dirtiest place, but they aren’t the cleanest, either).
Hearing aid domes can typically be worn right out of the box. In fact, that’s one of their biggest benefits.
How will I benefit by using hearing aid buds?
Hearing aid domes are prevalent for a wide array of reasons. The most widespread advantages include the following:
- You’re able to hear your own voice: A natural amount of sound can get through some types of hearing aid domes. This means you can still hear your own voice as you naturally would. You’re more likely to wear your hearing aids more often if they sound clear and natural.
- Everything sounds a little more natural: You can be sure your hearing aids create a clear, natural sound quality by choosing the right type of hearing aid domes. Most likely, some sound will still get in and that’s the reason for this. We can help you identify the kind that’s ideal for you.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes aren’t that big, particularly when they’re in your ear. In this way, they can be rather discrete.
- 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 put them in and wear your hearing aid immediately. For individuals who don’t want to wait for custom fit hearing aids, it’s the ideal option. And if you want to demo a hearing aid before you buy it, they’re great 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.
And, again, this means many individuals are more likely to use those hearing aids more often.
What are the 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 deciding. Here are a few of the most common:
- They aren’t always comfortable: 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. Additionally, if you pull your hearing aid dome out too quickly (or don’t clean it frequently enough), there’s the chance that it may separate from the tubing and get lodged in your ear canal. If this happens, you’ll likely need to come see us to have it removed.
- They can occasionally be more prone to feedback: Feedback, though not really common, sometimes does happen. This is particularly true for those who have high-frequency hearing loss.
- Some forms of hearing loss aren’t suitable for hearing aid domes: For instance, if you are suffering from profound hearing loss or high frequency hearing loss, hearing aid domes might not be the preferred option for you. For those with high-frequency hearing loss, once again, it’s the feedback that becomes the problem. For people who have profound hearing loss, it’s really the hearing aid itself that’s the issue: the kind of hearing aid typically associated with hearing aid domes is normally not large or powerful enough for this kind of hearing loss.
Should I get hearing aid domes?
Ultimately, the choice of whether you should use hearing aid domes or not is largely a personal one. We can help but it’s up to you. 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 others, the immediate results of hearing aids you can wear today will build healthy, lifelong hearing habits.
You have options and that’s the good thing.