After months (maybe even years) of waiting, you’ve finally resolved to contact us to see if you should get hearing aids. Like many, you’ve been resisting this. But the difficulty of going through life without being able to hear has finally become too hard to ignore.
So when you do finally come in and then you learn that you will still need to wait another couple of weeks before you obtain your custom fit hearing aids, it can be disheartening.
That’s another two weeks coping with those lost moments before you can start getting them back. But you could try a simple little device add on known as a hearing aid dome instead.
What are hearing aid domes?
Doesn’t that sound kind of epic? 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!
Well, it’s a little less thrilling than that. But they are pretty neat. Hearing aid domes are put on the end of your hearing aid speakers like little earbuds. Usually made of silicone or plastic, they connect 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. And they basically do two things:
- They assure 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 limit the amount of external sound you hear, especially when that outside sound can impede the functionality of your hearing aid. When used correctly, hearing aid domes provide you with some extra control and work to improve sound quality.
Domes for hearing aids look sort 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 several types, and we can assist you in doing that.
Different types of hearing aid domes
Most come in open and closed designs, 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 benefit of amplification while still being able to process outside sounds.
As the name suggests, these domes have fewer holes and block more ambient sound than open domes do. These are better for more pronounced hearing loss where background noise can be a distraction.
Power domes don’t have any holes and totally block outside sounds. This means virtually no sound at all can pass into the ear canal. These are most practical for very profound hearing loss.
How frequently should you change your hearing aid domes?
For best effect, you should change your hearing aid domes every 2-3 months (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 benefits of hearing aid domes?
There are numerous reasons why hearing aid domes are prevalent. The most common benefits include the following:
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes are pretty small, particularly when they’re tucked inside your ear. In this way, they can be rather discrete.
- No fitting time: Not having to wait is one of the greatest advantages of hearing aid domes. 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 best option. And if you want to demo a hearing aid before you purchase it, they’re good for that too. For patients who want faster results, hearing aid domes can provide a way to achieve that without compromising the quality of your sound clarity.
- The external world sounds more clear and natural: You can be certain your hearing aids create a clear, natural sound quality by selecting the right type of hearing aid domes. That’s because some sound will still (probably) get in. Again, this depends on the type of dome, and we can help you with this.
- You can hear your own voice: Some hearing aid domes are created to let a natural level of sound come in. So you will still be able to hear your own voice. This makes the clarity of sound feel much more natural, which means you’re more likely to wear your hearing a great deal more often.
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?
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 consider before deciding. 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 sensation “occlusion,” and some individuals can find it intensely unpleasant. 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.
- 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.
- Not ideal for all forms of hearing loss: As an example, hearing aid domes won’t be the best choice if you have high frequency hearing loss or profound hearing loss. Again, the feedback can become an issue with high frequency hearing loss. It’s the hearing aid itself that’s an issue 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.
So are hearing aid domes right for me?
Inevitably, the decision of whether you should use hearing aid domes or not is largely a personal one. We can help but it’s up to you. And we will be able to help you understand all the pros and cons pertaining to your personal hearing health.
Some individuals might be better off waiting for a custom fitting. For other people, the immediate results of hearing aids you can wear today will create healthy, lifelong hearing habits.
The nice thing is that you have options.