After months (possibly even years) of waiting, you’ve finally resolved to give us a call to find out if you need hearing aids. You’ve been resisting this like so many other people. But the inconvenience, the lost moments, the missing conversations, they all finally became too much.
So when you do finally come in and then you learn that you will still need to wait another two weeks before you get your custom fit hearing aids, it can be discouraging.
That’s another two weeks coping with those lost moments before you can begin getting them back. Of course, there is another option: a deceptively basic device add-on, known as hearing aid domes.
What exactly is a hearing aid dome?
Doesn’t that sound kind of epic? Like some type 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 exciting than that. They are pretty cool though. Hearing aid domes go on the end of your hearing aid speakers like tiny earbuds. Usually made of silicone or plastic, they connect to the tubing of your hearing aid and fit on the part that goes in your ear canal. You can use them with both behind-the-ear and in-ear models. And they generally do two things:
- They guarantee that the speaker of the hearing aid is seated in an optimal position in your ear. And they position the speaker so it won’t jiggle around in your ear.
- They can help control the amount of outside sound you hear, particularly when that external sound can interfere with the functionality of your hearing aid. When properly used, hearing aid domes provide you with 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 multiple 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 designs, each letting in more or less ambient sound.
Hearing aid dome models include:
With these, more sound is capable of passing through little holes in the dome. This helps your ear process natural sounds while still getting the benefit of amplification.
As the name indicates, these domes have fewer openings and block more ambient sound than open domes do. These are better for more advanced hearing loss where ambient noise can be distracting.
Power domes don’t have any holes and totally block external sounds. With these, nearly no external sound can get in. These domes will be ideal for people with very severe hearing impairment.
Do hearing aid domes need to be changed?
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 individuals, hearing aid domes can be used right out of the box. As a matter of fact, that’s one of their primary benefits.
How will I benefit by using hearing aid buds?
Hearing aid domes are prevalent for a wide array of reasons. The most common benefits include the following:
- You can hear your own voice: A natural amount of sound can get through some models of hearing aid domes. This means you can still hear your own voice as you naturally would. This makes the clarity of sound feel much more natural, which means you’re likely to use your hearing aids far more often.
- Everything sounds a little more natural: By choosing the best hearing aid dome type, you can be certain that your hearing aids generate a natural overall sound and improved sound clarity. That’s because some sound will still (probably) get through. We can help you determine the kind that’s best for you.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes are fairly small, especially when they’re tucked into your ear. They’re rather discrete in this way.
- No fitting time: Not needing to wait is one of the best advantages of hearing aid domes. You can un-box them, pop them on your hearing aid and you’re ready 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 demo a hearing aid before you buy it, they’re great for that too. For patients who want results faster, hearing aid domes can provide a way to achieve that without sacrificing the quality of your sound clarity.
And, again, this means many individuals are more likely to wear those hearing aids more often.
Are there 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 deciding. Among the most common are the following:
- They aren’t always comfortable: Some individuals are uncomfortable with the feeling of something filling their ear canal. Hearing specialists call this feeling “occlusion,” and some people can find it intensely unpleasant. Additionally, if you pull 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 have it removed if this happens.
- They can occasionally be more prone to feedback: Feedback, though not very common, sometimes does occur. For people who have high frequency hearing loss, this is especially true.
- Some forms of hearing loss aren’t suited for hearing aid domes: As an illustration, hearing aid domes won’t be the best choice if you have high frequency hearing loss or profound hearing loss. For those with high-frequency hearing loss, once again, it’s the feedback that becomes the issue. For individuals with profound hearing loss, it’s really the hearing aid itself that’s the problem: the type of hearing aid commonly associated with hearing aid domes is normally not large or powerful enough for this form of hearing loss.
So are hearing aid domes for me?
It’s mostly a personal choice whether you use hearing aid domes. We can help but it’s up to you. And we will look at your individual needs and help advise you on the pros and cons.
For some individuals, it might 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.
The nice thing is that you’ve got options.