You’ve been putting off calling us to see if you need hearing aids, but you’ve finally decided it’s time. 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 much.
So when you do finally come in and then you find out that you will still have to wait another two weeks before you get your custom fit hearing aids, it can be discouraging.
That’s another two weeks coping with those lost moments before you can start getting them back. However, there is another option: a deceptively simple device add-on, called hearing aid domes.
What exactly is a hearing aid dome?
They sound sort of epic, right? Like some type of arena where hearing aids duel in ancient, mythological combat. Welcome to the Hearing Aid Dome: Two hearing aids enter…but only one leaves!
Well, it’s a little less exciting than that. They are rather cool though. Hearing aid domes are like little earbuds that you can place on the end of your hearing aid speaker. Generally made of plastic or silicone, they fit over that little part that goes in your ear canal, connecting to the tubing of your hearing aid. You can use them with both behind-the-ear and in-ear models. And they basically do two things:
- They situate the hearing aid speaker (the part that you listen to) in an ideal position inside of your ear canal. And they help secure the speaker in place. That way it’s not wiggling around.
- They can help control the amount of outside sound you hear, especially when that external sound can impede the function of your hearing aid. When properly used, hearing aid domes provide you with a bit of extra control and work to enhance sound quality.
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 ideal 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 styles, each letting in more or less ambient sound.
Hearing aid dome models include:
With these, more sound is capable of passing through little holes in the dome. You get the benefit of amplification while still being able to process outside sounds.
As the name suggests, these domes have fewer openings and block more ambient sound than open domes can. These are better for more pronounced hearing loss where ambient noise can be a distraction.
Power domes have no holes and totally block outside sounds. With these, almost no external sound can get in. These domes will be ideal for individuals with extremely severe hearing impairment.
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 can be a bit dirty in there).
Hearing aid domes can typically be worn right out of the box. That’s one of the best things about them.
What are the benefits of hearing aid domes?
Hearing aid domes are prevalent for a wide array of reasons. The most widespread benefits include the following:
- The external world sounds more clear and natural: You can be sure your hearing aids produce a clear, natural sound quality by picking the right type of hearing aid domes. That’s because some sound will still (likely) get in. Once again, this depends on the style of dome, and we can help you with this.
- You can hear your own voice: A natural amount of sound can get through some models of hearing aid domes. So you will still be able to hear your own voice. You’ll most likely wear your hearing aids more if they sound clear and natural.
- 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 use 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 demo a hearing aid before you buy it, they’re great for that too. For patients who want results faster, hearing aid domes can provide a way to accomplish that without compromising the quality of your sound clarity.
- 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 pretty discrete.
And, again, this means many people are more likely to wear those hearing aids more often.
Are there 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. Among the most common are the following:
- They aren’t always comfortable: Some individuals are uncomfortable with the feeling of something filling their ear canal. Hearing specialists call this sensation “occlusion,” and some individuals can find it intensely unpleasant. In addition, if you pull your hearing aid dome out too fast (or don’t clean it often enough), there’s the possibility that it may separate from the tubing and get lodged in your ear canal. You’ll most likely need to come in and see us to have it removed if this happens.
- They can sometimes be more prone to feedback: Feedback, though not very common, sometimes does occur. For people who are dealing with high frequency hearing loss, this is especially true.
- Some types of hearing loss aren’t suited 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. For people with high-frequency hearing loss, once again, it’s the feedback that becomes the issue. For individuals who have profound hearing loss, it’s really the hearing aid itself that’s the issue: you’ll need something that’s larger and which is more powerful than the types commonly 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 mostly 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 might 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.
You have options and that’s the nice thing.