After months (possibly even years) of waiting, you’ve finally decided to give us a call to find out if you need hearing aids. Like many other people, you’ve been resisting this. But the inconvenience, the lost moments, the missing conversations, they all finally became too hard to ignore.
So it’s a little frustrating when you’re at the hearing specialist’s office and you learn that you’re going to need to wait another two weeks for custom fit hearing aids.
That’s another two weeks struggling with those lost moments before you can begin getting them back. But you could try a basic little device add on known as a hearing aid dome instead.
What exactly is a hearing aid dome?
They sound sort of grand, right? 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.
It’s not really that thrilling. But they are pretty neat. Hearing aid domes go on the end of your hearing aid speakers like little 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 both behind-the-ear or inside-the-ear-canal models of hearing aids. Here are the two general functions:
- They situate the hearing aid speaker (the bit 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 moving around.
- They can help control the amount of outside sound you hear, especially when that outside sound can interfere with the functionality of your hearing aid. When properly used, hearing aid domes give you a bit of extra control and work to improve sound quality.
Those small bulbs at the end of earbuds are a lot like hearing aid domes. There are multiple hearing aid dome types, so we will help you pick the one that’s best for your situation.
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 benefit of amplification while still being able to process outside sounds.
These domes let less outside sound in through fewer and smaller holes. For individuals with more significant hearing loss, ambient noise can be very distracting and this type of dome can help with that.
Power domes totally block the ear canal and have no venting. This means very little to no sound at all can get into the ear canal. These domes will be ideal for people with very severe hearing impairment.
Do hearing aid domes need to be changed?
For best results, 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).
For most people, hearing aid domes can be worn right out of the box. As a matter of fact, that’s one of their biggest advantages.
How will I benefit by wearing hearing aid buds?
There are a number of reasons why hearing aid domes are prevalent. Here are some common benefits:
- No fitting time: One of the most popular (and immediate) benefits of hearing aid domes is that you don’t need to wait. You can un-box them, put them on your hearing aid and you’re ready to go. For individuals who don’t want to wait for custom fit hearing aids, it’s the ideal solution. And if you want to try out a hearing aid before you purchase it, they’re great for that too. For people who want results faster, hearing aid domes can provide a way to accomplish that without compromising the quality of your sound clarity.
- The external world sounds more clear and natural: By selecting the correct hearing aid dome type, you can guarantee that your hearing aids produce a natural overall sound and improved sound clarity. Most likely, some sound will still get in and that’s the reason for this. We can help you determine the kind that’s ideal for you.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes aren’t very big, particularly when they’re in your ear. They’re pretty discrete in this way.
- You can hear your own voice: A natural level of sound can get through some models of hearing aid domes. This means you can still hear your own voice as you naturally would. This makes the clarity of sound seem a lot more natural, which means you’re likely to wear your hearing aids far more often.
And again, this will mean you’re less likely to leave your hearing aid sitting on your nightstand.
Are there drawbacks to hearing aid domes?
As with any hearing device or medical treatment, 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 prevalent:
- They can at times be uncomfortable: Having something filling the ear canal can be very unpleasant for some individuals. Some individuals find this feeling, called “occlusion” by hearing specialist, intensely uncomfortable. In addition, if you pull your hearing aid dome out too fast (or don’t clean it frequently enough), there’s the possibility that it might separate from the tubing and get lodged in your ear canal. You’ll probably need to come in and see us to have it removed if this happens.
- Occasionally, they can cause feedback: Feedback isn’t necessarily typical, but it can occur. For people who are dealing with high frequency hearing loss, this is particularly true.
- Some forms of hearing loss aren’t suitable for hearing aid domes: As an example, hearing aid domes won’t be the best option 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: the kind of hearing aid commonly associated with hearing aid domes is normally not large or powerful enough for this type of hearing loss.
Should I get hearing aid domes?
Inevitably, the decision 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 be able to help you understand all the pros and cons related to your unique hearing health.
For some people, it may be worth waiting the extra couple of weeks for a custom-fit device. Others will build healthy lifelong hearing habits by choosing a solution that lets them start using their new hearing aids immediately.
You have options and that’s the nice thing.