After months (possibly even years) of waiting, you’ve finally decided to contact us to see if you need hearing aids. You have been resisting this like so many other people. But the inconvenience, the lost moments, the missing conversations, they all finally became too much.
So when you do finally come in and then you find out that you will still need to wait another two weeks before you get your custom fit hearing aids, it can be disheartening.
That’s another two weeks coping with those lost moments before you can begin getting them back. However, there is another alternative: a deceptively basic 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 battle in ancient, mythological combat. Welcome to the Hearing Aid Dome: Two hearing aids enter…but only one leaves!
Well, it’s a bit less exciting than that. They are pretty cool though. Hearing aid domes are like tiny earbuds that you can place at the end of your hearing aid speaker. Usually made of silicone or plastic, they connect to the tubing of your hearing aid and fit on the part that goes into your ear canal. You can use them with both behind-the-ear and in-ear models. Here are the two general functions:
- They situate the hearing aid speaker (the part that you listen to) in an optimal position inside of your ear canal. And they help secure the speaker in place. That way it’s not moving around.
- They can help control the amount of external sound you hear, especially when that outside sound can interfere with the functionality of your hearing aid. When used correctly, hearing aid domes provide you with some extra control and work to enhance sound quality.
Those little bulbs at the end of earbuds are a lot like hearing aid domes. You will have to choose the hearing aid dome that’s best for you from a number of kinds, 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 ambient sound.
Hearing aid domes come in different kinds, including:
With these, more sound is able to pass through little holes in the dome. You get the benefit of amplification while still being able to process external sounds.
These domes let less external sound in through fewer and smaller holes. For individuals with more significant hearing loss, ambient noise can be quite distracting and this type 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.
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 unclean in there).
For most people, hearing aid domes can be used right out of the box. That’s one of the greatest things about them.
How will I benefit by wearing hearing aid buds?
Hearing aid domes are popular for a wide array of reasons. The most widespread benefits include the following:
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes are fairly small, especially when they’re tucked inside 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 un-box them, pop them on your hearing aid and you’re good to go. For people who don’t want to wait for custom fit hearing aids, it’s the ideal solution. And if you want to demo a hearing aid before you purchase it, they’re good for that too. With hearing aid domes, patients don’t need to sacrifice sound clarity to get quicker results.
- Everything sounds a little more natural: By selecting the best hearing aid dome type, you can be certain 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.
- You can hear your own voice: Some hearing aid domes are designed to let a natural level of sound come in. So you will still be capable of hearing your own voice. You’re more likely to use your hearing aids more often if they sound clear and natural.
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 drawbacks and trade-offs that come with hearing aid domes. Among the most common are the following:
- They aren’t always comfortable: Some people don’t like the feeling of something blocking their ear canal. Hearing specialists call this sensation “occlusion,” and some people can find it extremely uncomfortable. Additionally, if you take your hearing aid dome out too fast (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 occurs, you’ll likely need to come see us to have it removed.
- They can sometimes be more prone to feedback: Feedback, though not very common, sometimes does happen. This is especially true for those who are dealing with high-frequency hearing loss.
- Some forms of hearing loss aren’t suitable for hearing aid domes: As an illustration, hearing aid domes won’t be the ideal choice if you have high frequency hearing loss or profound hearing loss. For people with high-frequency hearing loss, once again, it’s the feedback that becomes the issue. It’s the hearing aid itself that’s a problem with profound hearing loss: the kind of hearing aid typically associated with hearing aid domes is normally not large or powerful enough for this type of hearing loss.
So are hearing aid domes for me?
Inevitably, the choice of whether you should use hearing aid domes or not is largely a personal one. It’s your choice but we can help. And we will be able to help you understand all the pros and cons pertaining to your personal hearing health.
Some people may be better off waiting for a custom fitting. For other people, the immediate results of hearing aids you can use today will build healthy, lifelong hearing habits.
You have options and that’s the nice thing.