After months (maybe even years) of waiting, you’ve finally resolved to contact us to see if you should get hearing aids. Like many, you’ve been resisting this. But the stress of going through life without being able to hear has finally become too hard to ignore.
So when you do finally come in and then you learn that you will still need to wait another two weeks before you get your custom fit hearing aids, it can be disheartening.
That means that you will be losing some of life’s treasured moments for two more weeks. Of course, there is another alternative: a deceptively basic device add-on, called hearing aid domes.
What are hearing aid domes?
They sound sort of epic, right? Like some type of arena where hearing aids battle in ancient, mythological combat. 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 rather neat. Hearing aid domes are like tiny earbuds that you can put on the end of your hearing aid speaker. Typically made of plastic or silicone, they fit around that little part that goes in your ear canal, connecting to the tubing of your hearing aid. They’re made for behind-the-ear or inside-the-ear-canal style hearing aids. Here are the two general functions:
- They guarantee that the speaker of the hearing aid is seated in an optimal position in your ear. And they position the speaker so it won’t jiggle around in your ear.
- In some cases, external sound can interfere with the sound of your hearing aid and hearing aid domes help avoid that by regulating the amount of outside sound. Hearing aid domes work to enhance the sound clarity and offer an extra bit of control when used correctly.
Those little bulbs at the end of earbuds are a lot like hearing aid domes. There are several hearing aid dome types, so we will help you choose the one that’s best for your situation.
What is the difference between hearing aid domes?
Most come in open and closed types, each letting in more or less 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. You get the advantage of amplification while still being able to process outside sounds.
As the name indicates, these domes have fewer openings and block more ambient sound than open domes can. 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, almost no external sound can get in. These are most effective for extremely severe hearing loss.
Do hearing aid domes need to be swapped out?
For best effect, you should change your hearing aid domes every 2-3 months (your ears are not the dirtiest place, but they aren’t the cleanest, either).
For most individuals, hearing aid domes can be used right out of the box. In fact, that’s one of their primary advantages.
How will I benefit by wearing hearing aid buds?
Hearing aid domes are prevalent for a wide variety of reasons. Here are a few prevailing benefits:
- The outside world sounds more clear and natural: By selecting the right hearing aid dome type, you can be certain that your hearing aids produce a natural overall sound and improved sound clarity. More than likely, some sound will still get through and that’s the reason for this. Once again, this depends on the type of dome, and we can help you with this.
- You can hear your own voice: A natural level of sound can get through some types of hearing aid domes. This means you will still be able to hear your own voice as you normally would. You’re more likely to wear your hearing aids more often if they sound clear and natural.
- No fitting time: One of the most prominent (and immediate) advantages of hearing aid domes is that you don’t need to wait. You can un-box them, put them on your hearing aid and you’re good to go. For individuals who don’t want to wait for custom fit hearing aids, it’s the best solution. And if you want to demo a hearing aid before you buy it, they’re good for that too. For people who want results faster, hearing aid domes can provide a way to accomplish that without sacrificing the quality of your sound clarity.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes are fairly small, particularly when they’re tucked into your ear. They’re pretty discrete in this way.
And again, this will mean you’re less likely to leave your hearing aid sitting on your nightstand.
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 consider before making a decision. Among the most common are the following:
- They can at times be uncomfortable: Some individuals are uncomfortable with the feeling of something blocking their ear canal. Hearing specialists call this sensation “occlusion,” and some individuals can find it intensely unpleasant. Also, your hearing aid dome can become lodged 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 get it removed if this happens.
- They can occasionally be more prone to feedback: Feedback, though not that common, sometimes does occur. For individuals who are dealing with high frequency hearing loss, this is especially true.
- Not ideal for all forms of hearing loss: As an illustration, hearing aid domes won’t be the best option if you have high frequency hearing loss or profound hearing loss. 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 kind of hearing aid commonly associated with hearing aid domes is normally not large or powerful enough for this kind of hearing loss.
So are hearing aid domes right for me?
It’s mostly a personal decision whether you use hearing aid domes. We can help but it’s your choice. And we will be able to help you understand all the pros and cons related to your unique hearing health.
For some people, it may be worth waiting the extra two weeks for a custom-fit device. For others, the quick results of hearing aids you can wear today will build healthy, lifelong hearing habits.
The nice thing is that you have options.