You’ve been avoiding calling us to see if you need hearing aids, but you’ve finally decided it’s time. You’ve been resisting this like so many others. But the inconvenience, 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 have to wait another couple of weeks for custom fit hearing aids.
That’s another two weeks struggling 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?
They sound sort of epic, right? Like some kind of arena where hearing aids duel in ancient, mythical combat. Welcome to the Hearing Aid Dome: Two hearing aids enter…but only one leaves!
Well, it’s a bit less exciting than that. But they are pretty neat. Hearing aid domes are put on the end of your hearing aid speakers like small earbuds. Typically made of plastic or silicone, they fit around that little bit that goes in your ear canal, attaching to the tubing of your hearing aid. You can use them with both behind-the-ear and in-ear models. Here are the two basic functions:
- They assure that the speaker of the hearing aid is sitting in an ideal position in your ear. And they help secure the speaker in place. That way it’s not moving around.
- In some cases, outside sound can impede the sound of your hearing aid and hearing aid domes help avoid that by controlling the amount of outside sound. Hearing aid domes work to enhance the sound quality and provide an extra bit of control when used correctly.
Those little bulbs at the end of earbuds are a lot like hearing aid domes. 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.
What is the difference between hearing aid domes?
Most come in open and closed types, each letting in more or less ambient sound.
Hearing aid domes come in different types, including:
With these, more sound is capable of passing through little holes in the dome. This helps your ear process natural sounds while still getting the benefit of amplification.
As the name implies, these domes have fewer openings and stop more ambient sound than open domes can. For people with more profound hearing loss, background noise can be really distracting and this type of dome can help with that.
Power domes have no holes and completely block outside sounds. With these, almost no outside sound can get in. These domes will be best for individuals with extremely severe hearing impairment.
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 can be a bit unclean in there).
For most people, hearing aid domes can be worn right out of the box. As a matter of fact, that’s one of their primary benefits.
How will I benefit by using hearing aid buds?
Hearing aid domes are prevalent for a wide array of reasons. Here are some prevailing benefits:
- The external world sounds more clear and natural: By choosing the correct hearing aid dome type, you can ensure that your hearing aids produce a natural overall sound and improved sound clarity. That’s because some sound will still (likely) get through. We can help you identify the type that’s ideal for you.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes are pretty small, especially when they’re tucked into your ear. In this way, they can be rather discrete.
- No fitting time: One of the most prominent (and immediate) advantages of hearing aid domes is that you don’t have to wait. You can put them in and wear your hearing aid right away. For people who don’t want to wait for custom fit hearing aids, it’s the ideal option. It’s also great for individuals 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.
- You’re able to hear your own voice: A natural amount of sound can get through some types of hearing aid domes. So you will still be capable of hearing your own voice. This makes the clarity of sound feel a lot more natural, which means you’re likely to wear your hearing a great deal more often.
And, again, this means many people are more likely to use those hearing aids more often.
Are there drawbacks to hearing aid domes?
You’ll want to be mindful of some of the downsides and trade-offs that come with hearing aid domes. Here are a few of the most common:
- They can at times be uncomfortable: Some people don’t like the feeling of something blocking their ear canal. Some people find this feeling, called “occlusion” by hearing specialist, extremely uncomfortable. 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. If this happens, you’ll most likely need to come see us to have it removed.
- Occasionally, they can cause feedback: Feedback, though not very common, sometimes does occur. For people who have high frequency hearing loss, this is particularly true.
- Some forms of hearing loss aren’t suited for hearing aid domes: For instance, if you have profound hearing loss or high frequency hearing loss, hearing aid domes might not be the best solution for you. Once again, the feedback can become an issue with high frequency hearing loss. For people who have profound hearing loss, it’s really the hearing aid itself that’s the issue: you’ll require something that’s larger and which has more power than the types typically associated with hearing aid domes.
Should I get hearing aid domes?
Ultimately, the choice of whether you should use hearing aid domes or not is largely a personal one. It’s up to you but we can help. And we will discuss your specific needs and help advise you on the pros and cons.
For some individuals, it may be worth waiting the extra two weeks for a custom-fit device. For others, the immediate results of hearing aids you can use today will build healthy, lifelong hearing habits.
The nice thing is that you have options.