You’ve been avoiding calling us to find out if you need hearing aids, but you’ve finally decided it’s time. Like many other people, you’ve been resisting this. But the difficulty of going through life without being able to hear has finally become 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 need to wait another couple of weeks for custom fit hearing aids.
That’s another two weeks dealing with those lost moments before you can begin getting them back. Of course, 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 kind of arena where hearing aids battle 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 rather neat. Hearing aid domes are put on the end of your hearing aid speakers like tiny earbuds. Usually made of silicone or plastic, they attach to the tubing of your hearing aid and fit around the part that goes inside of 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 seated in an ideal position in your ear. And they position the speaker so it won’t jiggle around in your ear.
- They can help limit the amount of outside sound you hear, especially when that external sound can interfere with the functionality of your hearing aid. When properly used, hearing aid domes provide you with some extra control and work to enhance sound clarity.
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 select 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 levels of ambient sound.
Hearing aid dome types include:
These have holes in the dome that allow more outside sound to get through and into your ears. You get the benefit of amplification while still being able to process outside sounds.
These domes let less outside sound in through fewer and smaller holes. These are better for more advanced hearing loss where background noise can be a distraction.
Power domes totally block the ear canal and have no venting. This means virtually no sound at all can get into the ear canal. These domes will be ideal for people with very severe hearing loss.
How often should you change your hearing aid domes?
Every two to three months will be the ideal schedule for changing your hearing aid domes (your ears are not the dirtiest place, but they aren’t the cleanest, either).
For most individuals, hearing aid domes can be worn right out of the box. That’s one of the greatest things about them.
What are the benefits of hearing aid domes?
There are a number of reasons why hearing aid domes are popular. Here are a few common advantages:
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes aren’t very big, particularly when they’re in your ear. In this way, they can be rather discrete.
- No fitting time: Not needing to wait is one of the best benefits of hearing aid domes. You can put them in and wear your hearing aid immediately. For individuals who don’t want to wait for custom fit hearing aids, it’s the best solution. It’s also good for people who want to try out their hearing aids before they buy them. With hearing aid domes, you don’t have to sacrifice sound clarity to get faster results.
- You can hear your own voice: A natural level of sound can get through some types of hearing aid domes. So you will still be capable of hearing your own voice. You’ll most likely wear your hearing aids more often if they sound clear and natural.
- The outside world sounds more clear and 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. Once again, this depends on the style of dome, and we will help you with this.
And again, this will mean you’re less likely to leave your hearing aid sitting in a drawer.
What are the downsides to hearing aid domes?
You’ll want to be aware of some of the downsides and trade-offs that come with hearing aid domes. Among the most prevalent are the following:
- They can sometimes be uncomfortable: Having something plugging the ear canal can be very unpleasant for some individuals. Hearing specialists call this sensation “occlusion,” and some individuals can find it extremely unpleasant. Also, your hearing aid dome can become stuck in your ear if you pull it out too fast 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.
- Sometimes, they can cause feedback: Feedback, though not very common, occasionally does happen. This is particularly true for individuals who are dealing with high-frequency hearing loss.
- Some forms of hearing loss aren’t suitable for hearing aid domes: For instance, if you have profound hearing loss or high frequency hearing loss, hearing aid domes might not be the preferred solution for you. For people 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: the type of hearing aid typically associated with hearing aid domes is usually not large or powerful enough for this kind of hearing loss.
Should I get hearing aid domes?
It’s largely a personal decision whether you use hearing aid domes. It’s your choice but we can help. And we will be able to walk you through all the pros and cons pertaining to your unique hearing health.
For some individuals, it may be worth waiting the extra couple of weeks for a custom-fit device. Others will create healthy lifelong hearing habits by choosing a solution that allows them to start using their new hearing aids right away.
The good thing is that you have options.