You’ve been putting off calling us to see if you need hearing aids, but you’ve finally decided it’s time. Like many other people, you’ve been resisting this. But the hassle, the lost moments, the missing conversations, they all finally became too hard to ignore.
So it’s a little discouraging when you’re at the hearing specialist’s office and you learn that you’re going to need to wait another couple of weeks for custom fit hearing aids.
That’s another two weeks struggling with those lost moments before you can begin getting them back. However, there is another option: a deceptively basic device add-on, known as 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, mythical combat. Only one hearing aid can emerge victorious from the hearing aid dome.
It’s not quite that exciting. They are rather cool though. Hearing aid domes go on the end of your hearing aid speakers like little earbuds. Typically made of plastic or silicone, they fit over that little bit 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 models of hearing aids. And they generally do two things:
- They position the hearing aid speaker (the part that you listen to) in an optimal position inside of your ear canal. And they help keep the speaker in place. That way it’s not moving around.
- They can help control the amount of outside sound you hear, particularly when that external sound can interfere with the functionality of your hearing aid. Hearing aid domes work to improve 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. 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.
Different types of hearing aid domes
Open types and closed types each let in different levels of ambient sound.
Hearing aid domes come in different types, including:
These have holes in the dome that allow more natural sound to pass through and into your ears. You get the advantage of amplification while still being able to process external sounds.
As the name implies, these domes have fewer holes and stop more ambient sound than open domes can. For people with more severe hearing loss, ambient noise can be very distracting and this kind of dome can help with that.
Power domes don’t have any holes and totally block outside sounds. This means virtually no sound at all can pass into the ear canal. These are most effective for extremely profound hearing loss.
Do hearing aid domes need to be changed?
For best results, you should swap out your hearing aid domes every 2-3 months (your ears can be a bit unclean in there).
Hearing aid domes can usually be used right out of the box. That’s one of the greatest things about them.
What are the benefits of hearing aid domes?
Hearing aid domes are prevalent for a wide variety of reasons. Here are some common benefits:
- No fitting time: Not needing to wait is one of the greatest advantages of hearing aid domes. You can un-box them, put them on your hearing aid and you’re good to go. This is a perfect option for individuals who don’t want to wait weeks for custom fit hearing aids. It’s also great for people who want to try out their hearing aids before they purchase them. For patients who want faster results, hearing aid domes can provide a way to accomplish that without sacrificing the quality of your sound clarity.
- Everything sounds a bit more natural: By selecting the right hearing aid dome type, you can be certain that your hearing aids generate a natural overall sound and enhanced sound clarity. Most likely, some sound will still get in and that’s the reason for this. 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 aren’t very big, particularly when they’re in your ear. They’re rather discrete in this way.
- You can hear your own voice: Some hearing aid domes are created to let a natural level of sound get through. This means you will still be able to hear your own voice as you normally would. This makes the clarity of sound feel much more natural, which means you’re more likely to wear your hearing aids far more often.
And again, this will mean you’re not as likely to leave your hearing aid sitting on your nightstand.
What are the drawbacks 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 think about before making a decision. Among the most common are the following:
- They aren’t always comfortable: Having something filling the ear canal can be very unpleasant for some individuals. Hearing specialists call this sensation “occlusion,” and some individuals can find it intensely unpleasant. In addition, if you take your hearing aid dome out too quickly (or don’t clean it frequently enough), there’s the chance that it might separate from the tubing and get lodged in your ear canal. 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 typical, but it does occur. For people who are dealing with high frequency hearing loss, this is especially true.
- Not suitable 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. For those with high-frequency hearing loss, once again, it’s the feedback that becomes the issue. It’s the hearing aid itself that’s a problem with profound hearing loss: you’ll require something that’s bigger and which is more powerful than the styles commonly associated with hearing aid domes.
So are hearing aid domes 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 your choice. And we will discuss your individual needs and help advise you on the pros and cons.
Some people might do better waiting for a custom fitting. For other people, the quick results of hearing aids you can wear today will build healthy, lifelong hearing habits.
The good thing is that you’ve got options.