You’ve been putting off calling us to see if you need hearing aids, but you’ve finally decided it’s time. You have been resisting this like so many other people. But the difficulty of going through life without being able to hear has finally become too hard to ignore.
So it’s a little frustrating when you’re at 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 means that you will be losing some of life’s precious moments for two more weeks. However, there is another option: a deceptively basic device add-on, called hearing aid domes.
What are hearing aid domes?
Doesn’t that sound sort of epic? 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 little less exciting than that. But they are pretty neat. Hearing aid domes go on the end of your hearing aid speakers like little earbuds. Typically made of plastic or silicone, they fit around that little part that goes inside your ear canal, connecting to the tubing of your hearing aid. They’re made for behind-the-ear or inside-the-ear-canal models of hearing aids. And they basically do two things:
- They position the hearing aid speaker (the part that you listen to) in the most effective position within your ear canal. And they help keep the speaker in place. That way it’s not wiggling around.
- They can help limit the amount of external sound you hear, especially when that external sound can interfere with the function of your hearing aid. When properly used, hearing aid domes offer you some extra control and work to improve sound clarity.
Domes for hearing aids look kind of like those bulbs at the end of your earbuds. There are multiple hearing aid dome types, so we will help you choose the one that’s best for your needs.
Different types of hearing aid domes
Open types and closed types each let in different levels of ambient sound.
Hearing aid dome types include:
These have holes in the dome that allow more outside sound to pass through and into your ears. You get the benefit of amplification while still being able to process outside sounds.
These domes let less external sound in through fewer and smaller holes. For individuals with more severe hearing loss, background noise can be quite distracting and this kind of dome can help with that.
Power domes have no holes and completely block external sounds. This means very little to no sound at all can get into the ear canal. These are most practical for extremely profound hearing loss.
How often should you change your hearing aid domes?
For best results, you should swap out your hearing aid domes every 2-3 months (your ears are not the dirtiest place, but they aren’t the cleanest, either).
Hearing aid domes can usually be used right out of the box. As a matter of fact, that’s one of their biggest benefits.
What are the advantages of hearing aid domes?
Hearing aid domes are prevalent for a wide array of reasons. The most common benefits include the following:
- Everything sounds a bit 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. More than likely, some sound will still get in and that’s the reason for this. Once again, this depends on the type of dome, and we will help you with this.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes are fairly small, particularly when they’re tucked into your ear. In this way, they can be pretty discrete.
- No fitting time: Not having to wait is one of the best benefits of hearing aid domes. You can un-box them, pop them on your hearing aid and you’re ready to go. For individuals who don’t want to wait for custom fit hearing aids, it’s the ideal option. And if you want to try out 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 sacrificing the quality of your sound clarity.
- You can hear your own voice: A natural level of sound can get through some models of hearing aid domes. This means you will still be able to 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.
And, again, this means many people 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. Here are a few of the most prevalent:
- They can at times be uncomfortable: Some people don’t like the feeling of something blocking their ear canal. Some individuals find this feeling, called “occlusion” by hearing specialist, intensely 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 happens, you’ll likely need to come see us to get it removed.
- Occasionally, they can cause feedback: Feedback, though not very common, sometimes does occur. This is especially true for individuals 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 might not be the preferred solution for you. For those with high-frequency hearing loss, again, it’s the feedback that becomes the problem. It’s the hearing aid itself that’s an issue with profound hearing loss: 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?
Inevitably, the decision of whether you should use hearing aid domes or not is mostly a personal one. We can help but it’s up to you. And we will be able to help you understand all the pros and cons pertaining to your personal hearing health.
For some people, it may be worth waiting the extra couple of weeks for a custom-fit device. Others will create healthy lifelong hearing habits by choosing a solution that allows them to begin using their new hearing aids immediately.
You have options and that’s the nice thing.