After months (maybe even years) of waiting, you’ve finally decided to give us a call to see if you should get hearing aids. You have been resisting this like so many other people. But the hassle, the lost moments, the missing interactions, they all finally became too much.
So it’s a little frustrating when you’re at 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. But you could try a simple little device add on called a hearing aid dome instead.
What are hearing aid domes?
They sound kind of grand, right? Like some kind of arena where hearing aids battle in ancient, mythological combat. Only one hearing aid can emerge victorious from the hearing aid dome.
Well, it’s a bit less thrilling than that. But they are pretty neat. Hearing aid domes are like little earbuds that you can put at the end of your hearing aid speaker. Typically made of plastic or silicone, they fit over that little part that goes in your ear canal, attaching to the tubing of your hearing aid. They’re made for both behind-the-ear or inside-the-ear-canal models of hearing aids. And they basically do two things:
- They guarantee 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 inside of your ear.
- On occasion, outside sound can impede the sound of your hearing aid and hearing aid domes help stop that by controlling the amount of outside sound. Hearing aid domes work to improve the sound clarity and provide an extra bit of control when used properly.
Those little bulbs at the end of earbuds are a lot like hearing aid domes. You will have to select the hearing aid dome that’s best for you from several kinds, 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 dome types include:
With these, more sound is capable of passing through little holes in the dome. You get the advantage of amplification while still being able to process external sounds.
These domes let less outside sound in through fewer and smaller holes. For people with more profound hearing loss, background noise can be quite distracting and this kind of dome can help with that.
Power domes don’t have any holes and completely block outside sounds. With these, almost no outside sound can get in. These are most effective for extremely severe hearing loss.
How frequently should you change your hearing aid domes?
For best effect, you should change your hearing aid domes every 2-3 months (your ears aren’t the dirtiest place, but they aren’t the cleanest, either).
Hearing aid domes can usually be worn right out of the box. In fact, that’s one of their biggest advantages.
What are the benefits of hearing aid domes?
Hearing aid domes are popular for a wide variety of reasons. Here are some prevailing advantages:
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes are fairly small, particularly when they’re tucked inside your ear. In this way, they can be rather discrete.
- You can hear your own voice: Some hearing aid domes are designed to let a natural amount of sound get through. This means you can still hear your own voice as you normally would. This makes the clarity of sound feel a lot more natural, which means you’re more likely to wear your hearing aids far more often.
- Everything sounds a little more natural: By selecting the best hearing aid dome type, you can guarantee that your hearing aids produce a natural overall sound and improved sound clarity. That’s because some sound will still (probably) get through. Again, this depends on the style of dome, and we will help you with this.
- No fitting time: One of the most popular (and immediate) benefits 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 individuals who don’t want to wait for custom fit hearing aids, it’s the best option. And if you want to try out a hearing aid before you purchase it, they’re good for that too. With hearing aid domes, patients don’t need to sacrifice sound clarity to get faster results.
And, once again, this means many individuals are more likely to wear those hearing aids more often.
What are the downsides 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 think about before making a decision. Here are a few of the most common:
- They can sometimes be uncomfortable: Having something plugging the ear canal can be very uncomfortable for some people. Some people find this feeling, called “occlusion” by hearing specialist, intensely uncomfortable. Additionally, if you take your hearing aid dome out too fast (or don’t clean it often enough), there’s the chance that it may separate from the tubing and get stuck in your ear canal. If this happens, you’ll most likely need to come see us to have it removed.
- Occasionally, they can cause feedback: Feedback, though not that common, occasionally does occur. For people who are dealing with high frequency hearing loss, this is especially true.
- Not suitable for all types of hearing loss: For example, if you are suffering from profound hearing loss or high frequency hearing loss, hearing aid domes might not be the best solution for you. Again, the feedback can become an issue with high frequency hearing loss. For individuals with profound hearing loss, it’s really the hearing aid itself that’s the issue: you’ll need something that’s bigger and which has more power than the types typically associated with hearing aid domes.
So are hearing aid domes for me?
Ultimately, the choice 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 look at your individual needs and help advise you on the pros and cons.
Some people may be better off waiting for a custom fitting. Others will build healthy lifelong hearing habits by opting for a solution that allows them to begin using their new hearing aids immediately.
You have options and that’s the nice thing.