After months (maybe even years) of waiting, you’ve finally resolved to contact us to find out if you should get hearing aids. You have been resisting this like so many others. But the stress of going through life without being able to hear has finally become too hard to ignore.
So it’s a bit frustrating when you’re at the hearing specialist’s office and you find out that you’re going to have to wait another two weeks for custom fit hearing aids.
That means that you will be losing some of life’s precious moments for two more weeks. Of course, there is another option: a deceptively basic device add-on, called hearing aid domes.
What are hearing aid domes?
They sound sort of epic, right? Like hearing aids dueling in some type of ancient mythological arena. Only one hearing aid can emerge victorious from the hearing aid dome.
Well, it’s a little less thrilling than that. They are pretty cool though. Hearing aid domes go on the end of your hearing aid speakers like small earbuds. Usually made out of silicone or plastic, they connect to the tubing of your hearing aid and fit on the part that goes in your ear canal. They’re made for behind-the-ear or inside-the-ear-canal models of 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 move around inside of your ear.
- They can help control the amount of external sound you hear, especially when that outside sound can interfere with the function of your hearing aid. When used correctly, hearing aid domes offer you a bit of extra control and work to improve sound clarity.
Those small bulbs at the end of earbuds are similar to hearing aid domes. You will have to select the hearing aid dome that’s best for you from several kinds, and we can assist you in doing that.
Different types of hearing aid domes
Most come in open and closed designs, each letting in more or less background sound.
Hearing aid dome models include:
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 outside sounds.
As the name implies, these domes have fewer holes and stop more ambient sound than open domes do. For individuals with more profound hearing loss, ambient noise can be quite distracting and this type of dome can help with that.
Power domes completely block the ear canal and have no venting. This means very little to no sound at all can pass into the ear canal. These are most practical for very profound hearing loss.
Do hearing aid domes need to be swapped out?
Every two to three months will be the ideal schedule for changing your hearing aid domes (your ears aren’t the dirtiest place, but they aren’t the cleanest, either).
Hearing aid domes can usually be used right out of the box. In fact, that’s one of their biggest advantages.
What are the advantages of hearing aid domes?
Hearing aid domes are popular for a wide variety of reasons. Here are some common advantages:
- Everything sounds a bit more natural: By choosing the best hearing aid dome type, you can guarantee that your hearing aids generate a natural overall sound and enhanced sound clarity. More than likely, some sound will still get through and that’s the reason for this. We can help you identify the kind that’s ideal for you.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes aren’t very big, especially when they’re in your ear. They’re rather discrete in this way.
- No fitting time: One of the most popular (and immediate) advantages of hearing aid domes is that you don’t have to wait. You can pop them in and wear your hearing aid immediately. This is an ideal solution for people who don’t want to wait weeks for custom fit hearing aids. And if you want to try out a hearing aid before you purchase it, they’re good for that too. 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: Some hearing aid domes are created to let a natural level of sound come in. This means you will still be able to hear your own voice as you normally would. You’ll most likely use your hearing aids more often if they sound clear and natural.
And again, this will mean you’re less likely to leave your hearing aid sitting on your nightstand.
What are the downsides to hearing aid domes?
You’ll want to be aware of some of the drawbacks and trade-offs that come with hearing aid domes. Among the most common are the following:
- They aren’t always comfortable: Having something plugging the ear canal can be extremely uncomfortable for some individuals. Hearing specialists call this sensation “occlusion,” and some people can find it intensely uncomfortable. 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. If this occurs, you’ll likely need to come see us to have it removed.
- Sometimes, they can cause feedback: Feedback isn’t necessarily common, but it can occur. This is particularly true for those who are dealing with high-frequency hearing loss.
- Some types of hearing loss aren’t suitable for hearing aid domes: As an illustration, hearing aid domes won’t be the ideal choice if you have high frequency hearing loss or profound hearing loss. 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 bigger and which is more powerful than the types typically associated with hearing aid domes.
Should I use hearing aid domes?
It’s mostly a personal decision whether you use hearing aid domes. It’s up to you but we can help. And we will be able to walk you through all the pros and cons related to your personal hearing health.
For some people, it may be worth waiting the extra two weeks for a custom-fit device. Others will build healthy lifelong hearing habits by choosing a solution that allows them to begin using their new hearing aids immediately.
You’ve got options and that’s the good thing.