You’ve been putting off calling us to see if you need hearing aids, but you’ve finally decided it’s time. Like many, you’ve been resisting this. But the stress of living life without being able to hear has finally become too hard to ignore.
So when you do finally come in and then you find out that you will still have to wait another couple of weeks before you get your custom fit hearing aids, it can be disheartening.
That’s another two weeks struggling with those lost moments before you can begin getting them back. Of course, there is another option: a deceptively simple device add-on, known as hearing aid domes.
What are hearing aid domes?
They sound kind of grand, right? Like some type of arena where hearing aids duel in ancient, mythical combat. Only one hearing aid can come forth victorious from the hearing aid dome.
Well, it’s a bit less thrilling than that. But they are pretty neat. Hearing aid domes are put on the end of your hearing aid speakers like little earbuds. Usually made out of silicone or plastic, they attach to the tubing of your hearing aid and fit around the part that goes in your ear canal. You can use them on both behind-the-ear and in-ear models. And they generally do two things:
- They assure that the speaker of the hearing aid is sitting in an optimal position in your ear. And they help keep the speaker in place. That way it’s not wiggling around.
- They can help limit the amount of external sound you hear, particularly when that outside sound can impede the functionality of your hearing aid. Hearing aid domes work to improve 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 multiple hearing aid dome styles, so we will help you pick the one that’s best for your situation.
What is the difference between hearing aid domes?
Open types and closed types each let in different amounts of ambient sound.
Hearing aid dome models include:
These have openings in the dome that allow more natural sound to get 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 holes and block more ambient sound than open domes do. For people with more profound hearing loss, background noise can be very distracting and this kind of dome can help with that.
Power domes completely block the ear canal and have no venting. This means virtually no sound at all can get into the ear canal. These are most effective for very severe hearing loss.
Do hearing aid domes need to be swapped out?
Every two to three months will be the best schedule for changing your hearing aid domes (your ears aren’t the dirtiest place, but they aren’t the cleanest, either).
For most individuals, hearing aid domes can be used right out of the box. That’s one of the best things about them.
What are the advantages of hearing aid domes?
There are a number of reasons why hearing aid domes are popular. Here are a few prevailing advantages:
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes aren’t that big, especially when they’re in your ear. In this way, they can be pretty discrete.
- No fitting time: Not having to wait is one of the best benefits of hearing aid domes. You can put them in and wear your hearing aid right away. For individuals who don’t want to wait for custom fit hearing aids, it’s the ideal option. And if you want to try out a hearing aid before you buy it, they’re great for that too. With hearing aid domes, you don’t have to sacrifice sound clarity to get quicker results.
- The outside world sounds more clear and natural: You can be sure your hearing aids produce a clear, natural sound quality by choosing the right type of hearing aid domes. More than likely, some sound will still get through and that’s the reason for this. Once again, this depends on the style of dome, and we will help you with this.
- You’re able to hear your own voice: A natural level of sound can get through some models of hearing aid domes. So you will still be able to hear your own voice. You’re more likely to wear your hearing aids more if they sound clear and natural.
And, again, this means many people are more likely to use those hearing aids more often.
What are the 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 deciding. Here are a few of the most common:
- They’re not always comfortable: Some people don’t like the feeling of something blocking their ear canal. Hearing specialists call this sensation “occlusion,” and some individuals can find it extremely unpleasant. Also, your hearing aid dome can get 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.
- They can sometimes be more prone to feedback: Feedback isn’t necessarily common, but it does happen. For individuals who are dealing with high frequency hearing loss, this is especially true.
- Some types of hearing loss aren’t suited for hearing aid domes: For example, if you are suffering from profound hearing loss or high frequency hearing loss, hearing aid domes may not be the best option for you. Again, the feedback can become a problem with high frequency hearing loss. It’s the hearing aid itself that’s a problem with profound hearing loss: you’ll need something that’s larger and which is more powerful than the styles typically associated with hearing aid domes.
Should I use hearing aid domes?
Inevitably, the choice of whether you should use hearing aid domes or not is largely a personal one. We can help but it’s up to you. And we will go over your specific needs and help advise you on the pros and cons.
Some people may do better waiting for a custom fitting. For other people, the immediate results of hearing aids you can use today will build healthy, lifelong hearing habits.
The good thing is that you’ve got options.