After months (possibly even years) of waiting, you’ve finally decided to give us a call to see if you need hearing aids. Like many, you’ve been resisting this. But the stress of going through life without being able to hear has finally become too hard to ignore.
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 get your custom fit hearing aids, it can be discouraging.
That means that you will be losing some of life’s precious moments for two more weeks. Of course, there is another option: a deceptively simple device add-on, known as hearing aid domes.
What are hearing aid domes?
They sound kind of epic, right? Like some type of arena where hearing aids duel in ancient, mythical combat. 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 place on the end of your hearing aid speaker. Typically made of plastic or silicone, they fit around that little part that goes in your ear canal, attaching to the tubing of your hearing aid. They’re made for behind-the-ear or inside-the-ear-canal models of hearing aids. Here are the two general functions:
- They situate the hearing aid speaker (the bit that you listen to) in the most effective position inside of your ear canal. And they help keep the speaker in place. That way it’s not moving around.
- In some cases, outside sound can impede the sound of your hearing aid and hearing aid domes help avoid that by regulating the amount of outside sound. Hearing aid domes work to enhance the sound quality and provide an extra bit of control when used correctly.
Those small bulbs at the end of earbuds are similar to hearing aid domes. You will have to select the hearing aid dome that’s ideal for you from a number of kinds, and we can assist you in doing that.
Different types of hearing aid domes
Most come in open and closed designs, each letting in more or less ambient sound.
Hearing aid domes come in different kinds, including:
These have holes in the dome that allow more natural sound to get through and into your ears. This helps your ear process natural sounds along with the advantage of amplification.
As the name indicates, these domes have fewer holes and block more ambient sound than open domes do. For individuals with more profound hearing loss, background noise can be quite distracting and this kind of dome can help with that.
Power domes completely block the ear canal and have no venting. With these, nearly no outside sound can get in. These domes will be best for people with extremely severe hearing impairment.
Do hearing aid domes need to be swapped out?
For best results, 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. As a matter of fact, that’s one of their primary benefits.
What are the advantages of hearing aid domes?
There are numerous reasons why hearing aid domes are popular. Here are a few common advantages:
- 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.
- You can hear your own voice: Some hearing aid domes are created to let a natural amount of sound get through. This means you will still be able to hear your own voice as you normally would. This makes the clarity of sound feel much more natural, which means you’re likely to use your hearing a great deal more often.
- No fitting time: Not needing to wait is one of the greatest benefits of hearing aid domes. You can put them in and wear your hearing aid immediately. This is an ideal solution for individuals who don’t want to wait weeks for custom fit hearing aids. And if you want to demo a hearing aid before you purchase it, they’re great for that too. For patients who want faster results, hearing aid domes can provide a way to accomplish that without compromising the quality of your sound clarity.
- The outside world sounds more clear and natural: By choosing the best hearing aid dome type, you can guarantee that your hearing aids produce a natural overall sound and enhanced sound clarity. That’s because some sound will still (probably) get in. Again, this depends on the style of dome, and we can help you with this.
And, again, this means many individuals are more likely to wear those hearing aids more often.
Are there drawbacks 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 think about before making a decision. Among the most common are the following:
- They can sometimes be uncomfortable: Having something filling the ear canal can be extremely uncomfortable for some people. Hearing specialists call this sensation “occlusion,” and some individuals can find it extremely uncomfortable. Also, your hearing aid dome can get stuck in your ear if you pull it out too quickly or if you don’t keep it clean. If this happens, you’ll likely need to come see us to have it removed.
- Occasionally, they can cause feedback: Feedback, though not very common, occasionally does happen. This is especially true for those who have high-frequency hearing loss.
- Some types of hearing loss aren’t suitable for hearing aid domes: For example, if you have profound hearing loss or high frequency hearing loss, hearing aid domes may not be the best option for you. For those with high-frequency hearing loss, again, it’s the feedback that becomes the issue. For people who have profound hearing loss, it’s really the hearing aid itself that’s the problem: the kind of hearing aid typically associated with hearing aid domes is usually not large or powerful enough for this form of hearing loss.
So are hearing aid domes for me?
It’s largely a personal decision whether you use hearing aid domes. We can help but it’s your choice. And we will be able to help you understand all the pros and cons related to your unique hearing health.
For some individuals, it may be worth waiting the extra couple of weeks for a custom-fit device. Others will build healthy lifelong hearing habits by opting for a solution that lets them start using their new hearing aids right away.
The good thing is that you’ve got options.