After months (possibly even years) of waiting, you’ve finally resolved to contact us to find out if you should get hearing aids. You have been resisting this like so many other people. But the hassle, the lost moments, the missing interactions, they all finally became too hard to ignore.
So it’s a bit disheartening when you’re at the hearing specialist’s office and you learn that you’re going to have to wait another couple of weeks for custom fit hearing aids.
That’s another two weeks coping with those lost moments before you can start getting them back. But you could try a simple little device add on known as a hearing aid dome instead.
What exactly is a hearing aid dome?
Doesn’t that sound kind of epic? Like hearing aids fighting in some kind of ancient mythological arena. Only one hearing aid can come forth victorious from the hearing aid dome.
Well, it’s a bit less exciting than that. But they are pretty neat. Hearing aid domes are like little earbuds that you can place on the end of your hearing aid speaker. Usually made out of silicone or plastic, they attach to the tubing of your hearing aid and fit on the part that goes in your ear canal. They’re made for behind-the-ear or inside-the-ear-canal models of hearing aids. Here are the two basic functions:
- They position the hearing aid speaker (the bit that you listen to) in an ideal position within 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, particularly when that external sound can interfere with the function of your hearing aid. When used correctly, hearing aid domes give you a bit of extra control and work to improve sound clarity.
Domes for hearing aids look sort of like those bulbs at the end of your earbuds. You will have to select the hearing aid dome that’s best for you from several types, and we can help you do that.
Different types of hearing aid domes
Most come in open and closed types, each letting in more or less background sound.
Hearing aid domes come in different kinds, including:
These have holes in the dome that allow more natural sound to get through and into your ears. This helps your ear process ambient sounds while still getting the benefit of amplification.
As the name suggests, these domes have fewer holes and stop more ambient sound than open domes do. For individuals with more profound hearing loss, ambient noise can be very distracting and this kind of dome can help with that.
Power domes have no holes and totally block external sounds. With these, nearly no outside sound can get in. These are most effective for extremely severe hearing loss.
Do hearing aid domes need to be changed?
Every two to three months will be the best schedule for changing your hearing aid domes (your ears are not the dirtiest place, but they aren’t the cleanest, either).
Hearing aid domes can typically be worn right out of the box. As a matter of fact, that’s one of their primary benefits.
What are the benefits of hearing aid domes?
There are numerous reasons why hearing aid domes are prevalent. Here are a few common advantages:
- No fitting time: One of the most popular (and immediate) advantages 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 good to go. This is an ideal solution 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 purchase it, they’re great for that too. For people who want faster results, hearing aid domes can provide a way to accomplish that without compromising the quality of your sound clarity.
- The outside world sounds more clear and natural: You can be certain your hearing aids produce a clear, natural sound quality by picking the right type of hearing aid domes. Most likely, some sound will still get in and that’s the reason for this. We can help you determine the kind that’s ideal for you.
- You’re able to hear your own voice: Some hearing aid domes are created to let a natural amount of sound come in. This means you will still be able to hear your own voice as you naturally would. This makes the clarity of sound feel much more natural, which means you’re more likely to wear your hearing a great deal more often.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes aren’t that big, particularly when they’re in your ear. They’re pretty discrete in this way.
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 making a decision. Among the most common are the following:
- They aren’t always comfortable: Some individuals don’t like the feeling of something blocking their ear canal. Some people 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 quickly or if you don’t keep it clean. You’ll most likely need to come in and see us to have it removed if this happens.
- They can sometimes be more prone to feedback: Feedback isn’t necessarily common, but it does happen. This is especially true for those who have high-frequency hearing loss.
- Some forms of hearing loss aren’t suited for hearing aid domes: For example, if you have profound hearing loss or high frequency hearing loss, hearing aid domes may not be the preferred solution for you. Again, the feedback can become an issue with high frequency hearing loss. It’s the hearing aid itself that’s a problem with profound hearing loss: the type of hearing aid typically associated with hearing aid domes is usually not large or powerful enough for this type of hearing loss.
So are hearing aid domes for me?
It’s mostly a personal choice whether you use hearing aid domes. We can help but it’s your choice. And we will look at your specific needs and help advise you on the pros and cons.
Some people might be better off waiting for a custom fitting. For other people, the quick results of hearing aids you can use today will create healthy, lifelong hearing habits.
You have options and that’s the good thing.