You’ve been avoiding calling us to find out if you need hearing aids, but you’ve finally decided it’s time. Like many other people, you’ve been resisting this. But the stress of living life without being able to hear has finally become too much.
So it’s a little discouraging when you’re sitting in the hearing specialist’s office and you learn that you’re going to have to wait another two weeks for custom fit hearing aids.
That means that you will be missing some of life’s treasured moments for two more weeks. However, there is another option: a deceptively simple device add-on, known as hearing aid domes.
What exactly is a hearing aid dome?
Doesn’t that sound sort of epic? Like some type 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 bit less thrilling than that. They are rather cool though. Hearing aid domes are put on the end of your hearing aid speakers like little earbuds. 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 style hearing aids. Here are the two basic functions:
- They position the hearing aid speaker (the part 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 moving around.
- They can help limit the amount of external sound you hear, particularly when that external sound can impede the function of your hearing aid. When properly used, hearing aid domes give you a bit of extra control and work to improve sound quality.
Domes for hearing aids look sort of like those bulbs at the end of your earbuds. There are several hearing aid dome styles, so we will help you choose the one that’s best for your needs.
Different types of hearing aid domes
Most come in open and closed types, each letting in more or less ambient sound.
Hearing aid domes come in different kinds, including:
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 outside sounds.
As the name suggests, these domes have fewer holes and stop more ambient sound than open domes do. These are better for more advanced hearing loss where background noise can be a distraction.
Power domes completely block the ear canal and have no holes. This means very little to no sound at all can pass into the ear canal. These are most practical for extremely severe hearing loss.
Do hearing aid domes need to be changed?
For best results, you should swap out 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 worn right out of the box. In fact, that’s one of their primary advantages.
What are the advantages of hearing aid domes?
Hearing aid domes are prevalent for a wide variety of reasons. The most widespread advantages include the following:
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes are pretty small, particularly when they’re tucked inside your ear. They’re rather discrete in this way.
- Everything sounds a bit more natural: By choosing the best hearing aid dome type, you can ensure that your hearing aids produce a natural overall sound and improved sound clarity. That’s because some sound will still (likely) get through. We can help you identify the kind that’s ideal for you.
- You’re able to hear your own voice: Some hearing aid domes are designed to let a natural level of sound get through. So you will still be capable of hearing your own voice. You’ll most likely use your hearing aids more if they sound clear and natural.
- No fitting time: Not having to wait is one of the best advantages of hearing aid domes. You can put them in and wear your hearing aid right away. This is an ideal solution 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 great for that too. With hearing aid domes, you don’t have to sacrifice sound clarity to get quicker 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 think about before making a decision. Here are a few of the most prevalent:
- They aren’t always comfortable: Some people are uncomfortable with the feeling of something filling their ear canal. Hearing specialists call this sensation “occlusion,” and some individuals can find it extremely unpleasant. Additionally, if you take your hearing aid dome out too quickly (or don’t clean it often enough), there’s the possibility that it may separate from the tubing and get stuck in your ear canal. If this happens, you’ll likely need to come see us to get it removed.
- They can occasionally be more prone to feedback: Feedback, though not really common, sometimes does occur. For people who are dealing with high frequency hearing loss, this is especially true.
- Not ideal for all types of hearing loss: As an illustration, hearing aid domes won’t be the best choice if you have high frequency hearing loss or profound hearing loss. For people with high-frequency hearing loss, again, it’s the feedback that becomes the issue. It’s the hearing aid itself that’s an issue with profound hearing loss: you’ll require something that’s larger and which is more powerful than the styles typically associated with hearing aid domes.
Should I get hearing aid domes?
Inevitably, the decision of whether you should use hearing aid domes or not is mostly a personal one. We can help but it’s up to you. And we will look at 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. For other people, the immediate results of hearing aids you can wear today will create healthy, lifelong hearing habits.
You have options and that’s the nice thing.