You’ve been putting off calling us to find out if you need hearing aids, but you’ve finally decided it’s time. Like many, you’ve been resisting this. But the difficulty of going through life without being able to hear has finally become too much.
So it’s a bit disheartening when you’re at the hearing specialist’s office and you learn that you’re going to need to wait another couple of weeks for custom fit hearing aids.
That means that you will be losing some of life’s precious moments for two more weeks. But you could try a simple little device add on known as a hearing aid dome instead.
What exactly is a hearing aid dome?
Doesn’t that sound sort of epic? 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.
Well, it’s a little less exciting than that. But they are pretty neat. Hearing aid domes go on the end of your hearing aid speakers like tiny earbuds. Usually made out of silicone or plastic, they attach to the tubing of your hearing aid and fit around the part that goes inside of your ear canal. You can use them on both behind-the-ear and in-ear models. Here are the two basic functions:
- They guarantee that the speaker of the hearing aid is sitting in an ideal position in your ear. And they help secure the speaker in place. That way it’s not moving around.
- They can help control the amount of external sound you hear, particularly when that external sound can impede the functionality of your hearing aid. Hearing aid domes work to improve the sound clarity and offer an extra bit of control when used correctly.
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 choose the one that’s best for your situation.
What is the difference between hearing aid domes?
Open types and closed types each let in different amounts of background sound.
Hearing aid domes come in different kinds, including:
These have openings in the dome that allow more outside sound to get through and into your ears. You get the benefit of amplification while still being able to process external sounds.
As the name indicates, these domes have fewer holes and stop more ambient sound than open domes can. For people with more profound hearing loss, background noise can be very distracting and this type of dome can help with that.
Power domes don’t have any holes and totally block external sounds. This means very little to no sound at all can pass into the ear canal. These are most effective for very profound hearing loss.
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 used right out of the box. That’s one of the best things about them.
How will I benefit by using hearing aid buds?
There are numerous reasons why hearing aid domes are popular. Here are a few prevailing advantages:
- The outside world sounds more clear and natural: By finding the right hearing aid dome type, you can ensure 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 identify the type that’s ideal for you.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes are pretty small, especially when they’re tucked inside your ear. They’re pretty discrete in this way.
- You’re able to hear your own voice: Some hearing aid domes are designed to let a natural amount of sound come in. So you will still be capable of hearing 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 prominent (and immediate) advantages of hearing aid domes is that you don’t need to wait. You can un-box them, pop them on your hearing aid and you’re good 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 demo a hearing aid before you purchase it, they’re good for that too. With hearing aid domes, patients don’t have to sacrifice sound clarity to get faster results.
And again, this will mean you’re not as likely to leave your hearing aid sitting on your nightstand.
What are the downsides to hearing aid domes?
You’ll want to be mindful of some of the drawbacks and trade-offs that come with hearing aid domes. Here are a few of the most prevalent:
- They’re not always comfortable: Some people are uncomfortable with the feeling of something filling their ear canal. Some people find this sensation, called “occlusion” by hearing specialist, extremely uncomfortable. Additionally, 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. If this happens, you’ll likely need to come see us to have it removed.
- They can sometimes be more prone to feedback: Feedback isn’t necessarily typical, but it can happen. For people who have high frequency hearing loss, this is especially true.
- Not ideal for all forms of hearing loss: For example, if you have profound hearing loss or high frequency hearing loss, hearing aid domes might not be the best option for you. For those with high-frequency hearing loss, again, it’s the feedback that becomes the problem. It’s the hearing aid itself that’s an issue with profound hearing loss: you’ll need something that’s larger and which is more powerful than the styles typically associated with hearing aid domes.
So are hearing aid domes for me?
It’s mostly a personal decision whether you use hearing aid domes. It’s your choice but we can help. And we will be able to help you understand all the pros and cons related to your personal hearing health.
Some people may be better off waiting for a custom fitting. For others, the immediate results of hearing aids you can use today will build healthy, lifelong hearing habits.
The good thing is that you have options.