After months (possibly even years) of waiting, you’ve finally resolved to give us a call to see if you need hearing aids. Like many other people, you’ve been resisting this. But the stress of living life without being able to hear has finally become too much.
So it’s a bit disheartening when you’re sitting in the hearing specialist’s office and you find out that you’re going to have 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. However, there is another alternative: a deceptively simple device add-on, known as hearing aid domes.
What exactly is a hearing aid dome?
They sound kind 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!
It’s not quite that exciting. But they are pretty neat. Hearing aid domes are like little earbuds that you can put on the end of your hearing aid speaker. Generally made of plastic or silicone, they fit over that little part that goes inside 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. Here are the two general functions:
- They position the hearing aid speaker (the part that you listen to) in an ideal position within your ear canal. And they secure the speaker so it won’t move around in your ear.
- Sometimes, external sound can interfere with the sound of your hearing aid and hearing aid domes help avoid that by regulating the amount of outside sound. Hearing aid domes work to improve the sound quality and offer an extra bit of control when used correctly.
Domes for hearing aids look kind of like those bulbs at the end of your earbuds. There are multiple hearing aid dome types, so we will help you pick the one that’s best for your needs.
Different types of hearing aid domes
Most come in open and closed styles, each letting in more or less background sound.
Hearing aid dome models include:
These have openings in the dome that allow more natural sound to pass through and into your ears. This helps your ear process ambient sounds while still getting the benefit of amplification.
As the name suggests, these domes have fewer openings and stop more ambient sound than open domes can. For people with more significant hearing loss, ambient noise can be quite distracting and this type of dome can help with that.
Power domes don’t have any holes and completely block outside sounds. With these, nearly no external sound can get in. These are most practical for very severe hearing loss.
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 are not the dirtiest place, but they aren’t the cleanest, either).
For most individuals, hearing aid domes can be used right out of the box. That’s one of the greatest things about them.
How will I benefit by wearing hearing aid buds?
Hearing aid domes are prevalent for a wide array of reasons. Here are a few prevailing benefits:
- You’re able to hear your own voice: A natural amount of sound can get through some models of hearing aid domes. So you will still be capable of hearing your own voice. This makes the clarity of sound feel much more natural, which means you’re likely to use your hearing aids far more often.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes are pretty small, particularly when they’re tucked into your ear. In this way, they can be pretty discrete.
- 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 best option. And if you want to demo a hearing aid before you buy it, they’re great for that too. With hearing aid domes, patients don’t have to sacrifice sound clarity to get faster results.
- The outside world sounds more clear and natural: By choosing the right hearing aid dome type, you can guarantee that your hearing aids generate a natural overall sound and enhanced sound clarity. That’s because some sound will still (probably) get in. We can help you determine the type that’s ideal for you.
And again, this will mean you’re not as likely to leave your hearing aid sitting on your nightstand.
Are there 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 prevalent are the following:
- They aren’t always comfortable: Having something plugging the ear canal can be very unpleasant for some individuals. Some people find this feeling, called “occlusion” by hearing specialist, intensely uncomfortable. Also, your hearing aid dome can become stuck 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 get it removed.
- Sometimes, they can cause feedback: Feedback isn’t necessarily common, but it does happen. This is especially true for those who have high-frequency hearing loss.
- Some forms of hearing loss aren’t suited for hearing aid domes: For example, if you are suffering from profound hearing loss or high frequency hearing loss, hearing aid domes may not be the preferred option for you. Once again, the feedback can become a problem with high frequency hearing loss. For those who have profound hearing loss, it’s really the hearing aid itself that’s the problem: you’ll need something that’s bigger and which has more power than the styles 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 be able to help you understand all the pros and cons related to your unique hearing health.
For some people, it might be worth waiting the extra two weeks for a custom-fit device. Others will create healthy lifelong hearing habits by opting for a solution that allows them to start using their new hearing aids right away.
You’ve got options and that’s the nice thing.