After months (possibly even years) of waiting, you’ve finally decided to contact us to find out if you should get hearing aids. You have been resisting this like so many other people. But the inconvenience, the lost moments, the missing interactions, they all finally became too hard to ignore.
So it’s a bit frustrating 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 coping with those lost moments before you can start getting them back. However, there is another option: a deceptively basic device add-on, called hearing aid domes.
What exactly is a hearing aid dome?
Doesn’t that sound kind of epic? Like hearing aids dueling in some type of ancient mythical arena. Only one hearing aid can come forth victorious from the hearing aid dome.
It’s not really that thrilling. They are pretty cool though. Hearing aid domes are like tiny earbuds that you can put on the end of your hearing aid speaker. Usually made out of silicone or plastic, they attach to the tubing of your hearing aid and fit on the part that goes inside of your ear canal. They’re made for both behind-the-ear or inside-the-ear-canal models of hearing aids. And they basically do two things:
- They position the hearing aid speaker (the part that you listen to) in an optimal position within your ear canal. And they secure the speaker so it won’t jiggle around in your ear.
- They can help limit the amount of external sound you hear, especially when that external sound can interfere with the function of your hearing aid. When properly used, hearing aid domes provide you with some extra control and work to enhance sound quality.
Those little bulbs at the end of earbuds are similar to hearing aid domes. There are several hearing aid dome styles, so we will help you select 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 background sound.
Hearing aid dome types include:
With these, more sound is capable of passing through little holes in the dome. This helps your ear process natural sounds while still getting the advantage of amplification.
As the name suggests, these domes have fewer openings and stop more ambient sound than open domes can. For people with more profound hearing loss, ambient noise can be very distracting and this type of dome can help with that.
Power domes completely block the ear canal and have no holes. This means virtually no sound at all can pass into the ear canal. These domes will be ideal for individuals with extremely 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 can be a bit unclean in there).
Hearing aid domes can typically be worn right out of the box. As a matter of fact, that’s one of their biggest benefits.
What are the benefits of hearing aid domes?
There are a number of reasons why hearing aid domes are popular. Here are a few common benefits:
- 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.
- You can hear your own voice: A natural amount of sound can get through some models of hearing aid domes. This means you can still hear your own voice as you naturally would. You’ll most likely use your hearing aids more often if they sound clear and natural.
- No fitting time: Not needing to wait is one of the best advantages of hearing aid domes. You can pop 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 purchase it, they’re great for that too. For people who want faster results, hearing aid domes can provide a way to achieve that without sacrificing the quality of your sound clarity.
- Everything sounds a bit more natural: You can be sure your hearing aids produce a clear, natural sound quality by choosing the right type of hearing aid domes. Most likely, some sound will still get through and that’s the reason for this. Again, this depends on the type of dome, and we can help you with this.
And again, this will mean you’re not as likely to leave your hearing aid sitting in a drawer.
Are there drawbacks to hearing aid domes?
You’ll want to be mindful of some of the downsides and trade-offs that come with hearing aid domes. Here are a few of the most prevalent:
- They can sometimes be uncomfortable: Some people don’t like the feeling of something blocking their ear canal. Hearing specialists call this feeling “occlusion,” and some people can find it intensely unpleasant. Also, your hearing aid dome can become lodged in your ear if you pull it out too quickly or if you don’t keep it clean. If this happens, you’ll likely need to come see us to get it removed.
- Occasionally, they can cause feedback: Feedback isn’t necessarily common, but it does happen. This is especially true for individuals who have high-frequency hearing loss.
- Some types of hearing loss aren’t suitable for hearing aid domes: As an example, hearing aid domes won’t be the ideal option if you have high frequency hearing loss or profound hearing loss. 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 problem: the kind of hearing aid typically associated with hearing aid domes is usually not large or powerful enough for this form of hearing loss.
Should I use hearing aid domes?
Ultimately, the decision of whether you should use hearing aid domes or not is mostly a personal one. It’s your choice but we can help. And we will be able to walk you through all the pros and cons pertaining to your personal hearing health.
For some individuals, it might 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 begin using their new hearing aids right away.
You’ve got options and that’s the good thing.