After months (maybe 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 hassle, the lost moments, the missing conversations, they all finally became 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 get your custom fit hearing aids, it can be frustrating.
That’s another two weeks dealing with those lost moments before you can begin getting them back. But you could try a simple little device add on called a hearing aid dome instead.
What are hearing aid domes?
They sound kind of grand, right? Like hearing aids fighting in some type of ancient mythical arena. Only one hearing aid can come forth victorious from the hearing aid dome.
Well, it’s a bit less exciting than that. They are rather cool though. Hearing aid domes are like little 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 around the part that goes into your ear canal. You can use them on both behind-the-ear and in-ear models. And they basically do two things:
- They position the hearing aid speaker (the bit that you listen to) in an optimal position inside of your ear canal. And they help secure the speaker in place. That way it’s not wiggling around.
- Sometimes, outside 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 clarity and provide an extra bit of control when used properly.
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 needs.
What is the difference between hearing aid domes?
Most come in open and closed types, each letting in more or less background sound.
Hearing aid domes come in different kinds, including:
With these, more sound is able to pass through little holes in the dome. This helps your ear process ambient sounds along with the benefit of amplification.
These domes let less outside sound in through fewer and smaller holes. For individuals with more significant hearing loss, background noise can be very distracting and this kind 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 get into the ear canal. These domes will be ideal for individuals with extremely severe hearing loss.
Do hearing aid domes need to be swapped out?
Every two to three months will be the best schedule for changing your hearing aid domes (your ears aren’t the dirtiest place, but they aren’t the cleanest, either).
Hearing aid domes can usually be used right out of the box. That’s one of the best things about them.
What are the benefits of hearing aid domes?
Hearing aid domes are popular for a wide array of reasons. The most common advantages include the following:
- 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 able to hear your own voice. You’re more likely to wear your hearing aids more if they sound clear and natural.
- No fitting time: Not having to wait is one of the greatest benefits of hearing aid domes. You can un-box them, put them on your hearing aid and you’re good to go. This is a perfect option for people who don’t want to wait weeks for custom fit hearing aids. And if you want to try out a hearing aid before you purchase it, they’re good for that too. For patients who want results faster, hearing aid domes can provide a way to achieve that without compromising the quality of your sound clarity.
- The outside world sounds more clear and 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 (probably) get in. We can help you determine the type that’s best for you.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes aren’t that big, particularly when they’re in your ear. They’re rather discrete in this way.
And again, this will mean you’re less likely to leave your hearing aid sitting in a drawer.
What are the downsides 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 aren’t always comfortable: Some people don’t like the feeling of something filling their ear canal. Hearing specialists call this feeling “occlusion,” and some individuals can find it extremely uncomfortable. In addition, if you take your hearing aid dome out too fast (or don’t clean it frequently enough), there’s the chance that it may separate from the tubing and get lodged in your ear canal. You’ll most likely need to come in and see us to get it removed if this happens.
- They can sometimes be more prone to feedback: Feedback isn’t necessarily common, but it does occur. For individuals who are dealing with high frequency hearing loss, this is particularly true.
- Some forms of hearing loss aren’t suitable for hearing aid domes: As an example, hearing aid domes won’t be the best choice if you have high frequency hearing loss or profound hearing loss. Once again, the feedback can become a problem with high frequency hearing loss. For those with profound hearing loss, it’s really the hearing aid itself that’s the issue: you’ll require something that’s larger and which has more power than the types commonly associated with hearing aid domes.
So are hearing aid domes for me?
It’s mostly a personal decision whether you use hearing aid domes. We can help but it’s up to you. And we will discuss your specific needs and help advise you on the pros and cons.
For some people, it may be worth waiting the extra two weeks for a custom-fit device. Others will build healthy lifelong hearing habits by choosing a solution that lets them start using their new hearing aids immediately.
You’ve got options and that’s the good thing.