You’ve been avoiding calling us to find out if you need hearing aids, but you’ve finally decided it’s time. 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 when you do finally come in and then you learn that you will still have to wait another two weeks before you obtain your custom fit hearing aids, it can be disheartening.
That’s another two weeks dealing with those lost moments before you can begin getting them back. However, there is another alternative: a deceptively basic device add-on, called hearing aid domes.
What are hearing aid domes?
Doesn’t that sound kind of epic? Like some kind 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 rather cool though. Hearing aid domes go on the end of your hearing aid speakers like small earbuds. Usually made of silicone or plastic, they connect to the tubing of your hearing aid and fit around the part that goes into your ear canal. You can use them with both behind-the-ear and in-ear models. And they generally do two things:
- They situate the hearing aid speaker (the bit that you listen to) in the most effective position inside of your ear canal. And they position the speaker so it won’t move around inside of your ear.
- They can help limit the amount of external sound you hear, particularly when that outside sound can interfere with the functionality of your hearing aid. Hearing aid domes work to enhance the sound quality and offer an extra bit of control when used properly.
Domes for hearing aids look sort of like those bulbs at the end of your earbuds. There are multiple hearing aid dome styles, so we will help you select the one that’s best for your needs.
Different types of hearing aid domes
Open types and closed types each let in different amounts of background sound.
Hearing aid domes come in different types, including:
These have openings in the dome that allow more outside sound to pass through and into your ears. This helps your ear process ambient sounds along with the advantage of amplification.
As the name indicates, these domes have fewer holes and stop more ambient sound than open domes can. These are better for more advanced hearing loss where background noise can be distracting.
Power domes totally block the ear canal and have no venting. This means virtually no sound at all can pass into the ear canal. These are most practical for extremely severe 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 aren’t the dirtiest place, but they aren’t the cleanest, either).
Hearing aid domes can typically be worn right out of the box. That’s one of the best things about them.
What are the advantages of hearing aid domes?
There are numerous reasons why hearing aid domes are popular. The most widespread advantages include the following:
- You can hear your own voice: Some hearing aid domes are created to let a natural amount 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.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes aren’t very big, especially when they’re in your ear. In this way, they can be rather discrete.
- No fitting time: Not having to wait is one of the best advantages of hearing aid domes. You can pop them in and wear your hearing aid immediately. This is an ideal option for people who don’t want to wait weeks for custom fit hearing aids. And if you want to demo a hearing aid before you buy it, they’re great for that too. With hearing aid domes, patients don’t have to sacrifice sound clarity to get quicker results.
- The outside world sounds more clear and natural: By selecting the right hearing aid dome type, you can ensure that your hearing aids generate a natural overall sound and improved sound clarity. That’s because some sound will still (likely) get through. Again, this depends on the type of dome, and we can help you with this.
And again, this will mean you’re less likely to leave your hearing aid sitting in a drawer.
Are there downsides to hearing aid domes?
As with any hearing device or medical procedure, there are some drawbacks and trade-offs to hearing aid domes, trade=offs you’ll want to think about before deciding. Among the most prevalent are the following:
- They’re not always comfortable: Some individuals don’t like the feeling of something filling their ear canal. Hearing specialists call this sensation “occlusion,” and some individuals can find it intensely uncomfortable. Also, your hearing aid dome can become stuck in your ear if you pull it out too quickly or if you don’t keep it clean. If this happens, you’ll most likely need to come see us to get it removed.
- Occasionally, they can cause feedback: Feedback isn’t necessarily typical, but it can occur. This is particularly true for individuals who are dealing with high-frequency hearing loss.
- Some forms of hearing loss aren’t suited for hearing aid domes: For instance, if you have 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, once again, it’s the feedback that becomes the problem. For individuals who have profound hearing loss, it’s really the hearing aid itself that’s the issue: you’ll need something that’s larger and which is more powerful than the types commonly associated with hearing aid domes.
So are hearing aid domes right for me?
Inevitably, the choice of whether you should use hearing aid domes or not is largely a personal one. It’s up to you but we can help. And we will look at your specific needs and help advise you on the pros and cons.
Some individuals might do better waiting for a custom fitting. For others, the immediate results of hearing aids you can wear today will create healthy, lifelong hearing habits.
The good thing is that you’ve got options.