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 other people. But the hassle, the lost moments, the missing conversations, they all finally became too much.
So it’s a little frustrating when you’re at the hearing specialist’s office and you find out 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 treasured moments for two more weeks. However, there is another alternative: a deceptively basic device add-on, known as hearing aid domes.
What exactly is a hearing aid dome?
They sound kind of grand, right? Like some kind 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 thrilling than that. 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 in your ear canal. They’re made for behind-the-ear or inside-the-ear-canal models of hearing aids. And they basically do two things:
- They situate the hearing aid speaker (the bit 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 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 quality and provide an extra bit of control when used properly.
Domes for hearing aids look kind of like those bulbs at the end of your earbuds. You will have to select the hearing aid dome that’s ideal for you from a number of kinds, and we can help you do that.
What is the difference between hearing aid domes?
Most come in open and closed types, each letting in more or less ambient sound.
Hearing aid dome types include:
These have holes in the dome that allow more outside sound to pass through and into your ears. You get the advantage of amplification while still being able to process external sounds.
These domes let less external sound in through fewer and smaller holes. For people with more severe 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 outside sounds. With these, almost no external sound can get in. These are most effective for very severe hearing loss.
How frequently 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 unclean in there).
For most people, hearing aid domes can be used right out of the box. That’s one of the greatest things about them.
What are the advantages of hearing aid domes?
Hearing aid domes are prevalent for a wide variety of reasons. Here are some prevailing benefits:
- You can hear your own voice: A natural level of sound can get through some types of hearing aid domes. 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.
- Everything sounds a little more 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 type of dome, and we can help you with this.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes aren’t very big, especially when they’re in your ear. In this way, they can be rather discrete.
- 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 try out a hearing aid before you buy it, they’re great for that too. With hearing aid domes, patients don’t need to sacrifice sound clarity to get faster results.
And again, this will mean you’re not as likely to leave your hearing aid sitting in a drawer.
What are the 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 prevalent are the following:
- They’re not always comfortable: Some people are uncomfortable with the feeling of something filling their ear canal. Hearing specialists call this feeling “occlusion,” and some people can find it extremely uncomfortable. Also, your hearing aid dome can become stuck in your ear if you pull it out too fast or if you don’t keep it clean. If this happens, you’ll likely need to come see us to have it removed.
- Sometimes, they can cause feedback: Feedback, though not very common, sometimes does happen. This is especially true for those who have high-frequency hearing loss.
- Not suitable for all forms of hearing loss: For instance, if you have profound hearing loss or high frequency hearing loss, hearing aid domes may not be the best solution for you. Again, the feedback can become a problem with high frequency hearing loss. For individuals with profound hearing loss, it’s really the hearing aid itself that’s the issue: the type of hearing aid typically associated with hearing aid domes is usually not large or powerful enough for this form of hearing loss.
So are hearing aid domes for me?
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 pertaining to your personal hearing health.
Some individuals may be better off waiting for a custom fitting. For other people, the immediate results of hearing aids you can use today will create healthy, lifelong hearing habits.
The nice thing is that you’ve got options.