After months (possibly even years) of waiting, you’ve finally resolved to contact us to see if you need hearing aids. Like many, you’ve been resisting this. But the inconvenience, the lost moments, the missing interactions, they all finally became too hard to ignore.
So it’s a bit discouraging when you’re at the hearing specialist’s office and you learn that you’re going to have to wait another two weeks for custom fit hearing aids.
That’s another two weeks coping with those lost moments before you can begin getting them back. Of course, there is another alternative: a deceptively basic device add-on, known as hearing aid domes.
What exactly is a hearing aid dome?
Doesn’t that sound sort of epic? Like some kind 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 little less exciting than that. They are pretty cool though. Hearing aid domes go on the end of your hearing aid speakers like little earbuds. Usually made out of silicone or plastic, they connect 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. And they basically do two things:
- They assure 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.
- Sometimes, outside 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 enhance the sound clarity 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 best for you from several types, and we can help you do that.
What is the difference between hearing aid domes?
Most come in open and closed designs, each letting in more or less ambient sound.
Hearing aid domes come in different types, 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 outside sounds.
As the name suggests, 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 completely block the ear canal and have no venting. With these, nearly no external sound can get in. These are most effective for very severe hearing loss.
Do hearing aid domes need to be swapped out?
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 individuals, hearing aid domes can be worn right out of the box. That’s one of the best things about them.
How will I benefit by wearing hearing aid buds?
There are numerous reasons why hearing aid domes are prevalent. Here are some prevailing benefits:
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes are pretty small, particularly when they’re tucked into your ear. In this way, they can be rather discrete.
- No fitting time: One of the most prominent (and immediate) benefits of hearing aid domes is that you don’t have to wait. You can un-box them, pop 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 best option. It’s also great for individuals who want to try out their hearing aids before they purchase them. For people who want results faster, hearing aid domes can provide a way to accomplish that without compromising the quality of your sound clarity.
- Everything sounds a bit more natural: By finding the right hearing aid dome type, you can ensure that your hearing aids produce a natural overall sound and enhanced sound clarity. Most likely, some sound will still get through and that’s the reason for this. We can help you identify the kind that’s best for you.
- You can hear your own voice: A natural amount of sound can get through some types of hearing aid domes. So you will still be able to hear your own voice. You’re more likely to wear your hearing aids more if they sound clear and natural.
And, again, this means many people 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 treatment, there are some drawbacks and trade-offs to hearing aid domes, trade=offs you’ll want to consider before deciding. Among the most prevalent are the following:
- They aren’t always comfortable: Having something filling the ear canal can be very unpleasant for some people. Some people find this sensation, called “occlusion” by hearing specialist, extremely uncomfortable. Also, your hearing aid dome can get lodged in your ear if you pull it out too fast or if you don’t keep it clean. If this happens, you’ll most likely need to come see us to have it removed.
- They can sometimes be more prone to feedback: Feedback isn’t necessarily common, but it does occur. This is especially true for people who are dealing with high-frequency hearing loss.
- Some forms of hearing loss aren’t suited 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. Once again, the feedback can become a problem with high frequency hearing loss. It’s the hearing aid itself that’s a problem with profound hearing loss: you’ll require something that’s larger and which is more powerful than the styles commonly associated with hearing aid domes.
Should I use hearing aid domes?
It’s mostly a personal choice whether you use hearing aid domes. We can help but it’s up to you. And we will go over your individual needs and help advise you on the pros and cons.
Some individuals may do better waiting for a custom fitting. For other people, the immediate results of hearing aids you can use today will create healthy, lifelong hearing habits.
The good thing is that you’ve got options.