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 inconvenience, the lost moments, the missing conversations, they all finally became too much.
So it’s a little disheartening when you’re sitting in the hearing specialist’s office and you find out that you’re going to have to wait another couple of weeks for custom fit hearing aids.
That means that you will be missing some of life’s treasured moments for two more weeks. But you could try a basic little device add on known as a hearing aid dome instead.
What are hearing aid domes?
Doesn’t that sound sort of epic? 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.
Well, it’s a bit less exciting than that. But they are rather neat. Hearing aid domes are like tiny earbuds that you can place on the end of your hearing aid speaker. Typically made of plastic or silicone, they fit around that little bit that goes inside 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. And they generally do two things:
- They guarantee that the speaker of the hearing aid is sitting in an optimal position in your ear. And they position the speaker so it won’t jiggle around in your ear.
- On occasion, outside sound can interfere with the sound of your hearing aid and hearing aid domes help stop that by regulating the amount of outside sound. When properly used, hearing aid domes give you a bit of extra control and work to improve sound quality.
Those small 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 types, and we can help you do that.
What is the difference between hearing aid domes?
Open types and closed types each let in different levels of ambient sound.
Hearing aid domes come in different kinds, including:
These have openings in the dome that allow more outside sound to pass through and into your ears. You get the advantage of amplification while still being able to process outside sounds.
As the name suggests, these domes have fewer openings and block more ambient sound than open domes do. These are better for more advanced hearing loss where ambient noise can be a distraction.
Power domes completely block the ear canal and have no venting. With these, almost no external sound can get in. These are most effective for very profound hearing loss.
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).
For most individuals, hearing aid domes can be worn right out of the box. In fact, that’s one of their primary benefits.
How will I benefit by wearing hearing aid buds?
There are a number of reasons why hearing aid domes are prevalent. Here are a few common advantages:
- Everything sounds a little more natural: You can be certain your hearing aids produce a clear, natural sound quality by selecting the right type of hearing aid domes. Most likely, some sound will still get in and that’s the reason for this. Again, this depends on the style of dome, and we can help you with this.
- You can hear your own voice: A natural amount 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 normally would. This makes the clarity of sound seem much more natural, which means you’re likely to use your hearing aids far more often.
- No fitting time: Not needing to wait is one of the greatest benefits of hearing aid domes. You can pop them in and use your hearing aid right away. This is a perfect solution for people who don’t want to wait weeks for custom fit hearing aids. And if you want to try out a hearing aid before you purchase it, they’re good for that too. For patients who want results faster, hearing aid domes can provide a way to achieve that without compromising the quality of your sound clarity.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes aren’t very big, especially when they’re in your ear. They’re pretty discrete in this way.
And, once again, this means many individuals are more likely to wear those hearing aids more often.
Are there downsides to hearing aid domes?
You’ll want to be mindful of some of the drawbacks and trade-offs that come with hearing aid domes. Here are a few of the most prevalent:
- They can sometimes be uncomfortable: Some individuals don’t like the feeling of something blocking their ear canal. Some people find this feeling, called “occlusion” by hearing specialist, extremely uncomfortable. Additionally, if you pull your hearing aid dome out too quickly (or don’t clean it frequently enough), there’s the chance that it may separate from the tubing and get stuck in your ear canal. If this happens, you’ll most likely need to come see us to get it removed.
- They can occasionally be more prone to feedback: Feedback isn’t necessarily common, but it can happen. This is particularly true for those 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 may not be the best option for you. Once again, the feedback can become a problem with high frequency hearing loss. For people who have profound hearing loss, it’s really the hearing aid itself that’s the issue: the kind of hearing aid typically associated with hearing aid domes is usually not large or powerful enough for this kind of hearing loss.
So are hearing aid domes for me?
Inevitably, the decision 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 be able to walk you through all the pros and cons related to your personal hearing health.
Some people might be better off waiting for a custom fitting. Others will create healthy lifelong hearing habits by opting for a solution that allows them to start using their new hearing aids right away.
You’ve got options and that’s the good thing.