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 others. But the difficulty of going through life without being able to hear has finally become too much.
So it’s a little frustrating when you’re sitting in the hearing specialist’s office and you learn that you’re going to need 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 are hearing aid domes?
Doesn’t that sound sort of epic? Like hearing aids fighting in some kind of ancient mythical arena. Only one hearing aid can emerge victorious from the hearing aid dome.
Well, it’s a bit less exciting than that. But they are rather neat. Hearing aid domes go on the end of your hearing aid speakers like tiny earbuds. Generally made of plastic or silicone, they fit around that little bit that goes in your ear canal, connecting to the tubing of your hearing aid. They’re made for both behind-the-ear or inside-the-ear-canal models of hearing aids. And they generally do two things:
- They guarantee that the speaker of the hearing aid is sitting in an optimal position in your ear. And they help keep the speaker in place. That way it’s not wiggling around.
- In some cases, outside sound can interfere with the sound of your hearing aid and hearing aid domes help stop that by controlling the amount of outside sound. When properly used, hearing aid domes offer you some extra control and work to improve sound clarity.
Those small bulbs at the end of earbuds are similar to hearing aid domes. You will have to select the hearing aid dome that’s best for you from several kinds, and we can help you do that.
What is the difference between hearing aid domes?
Most come in open and closed styles, each letting in more or less background sound.
Hearing aid domes come in different kinds, including:
These have holes in the dome that allow more outside sound to get through and into your ears. You get the benefit of amplification while still being able to process external sounds.
These domes let less external sound in through fewer and smaller holes. 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 virtually no sound at all can get into the ear canal. These are most practical for very profound hearing loss.
How often 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).
Hearing aid domes can usually be used right out of the box. That’s one of the best things about them.
How will I benefit by wearing hearing aid buds?
Hearing aid domes are popular for a wide variety of reasons. The most common benefits include the following:
- Everything sounds a little more natural: By selecting the right hearing aid dome type, you can guarantee that your hearing aids generate a natural overall sound and improved sound clarity. That’s because some sound will still (likely) get in. We can help you identify the kind that’s best for you.
- You’re able to hear your own voice: Some hearing aid domes are designed to let a natural amount 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 un-box them, put them on your hearing aid and you’re ready to go. For people who don’t want to wait for custom fit hearing aids, it’s the ideal option. And if you want to demo a hearing aid before you buy it, they’re good for that too. With hearing aid domes, you don’t have to sacrifice sound clarity to get quicker results.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes are fairly small, especially when they’re tucked inside your ear. They’re pretty discrete in this way.
And, again, this means many individuals are more likely to use those hearing aids more often.
Are there drawbacks to hearing aid domes?
As with any hearing device or medical procedure, there are some drawbacks and trade-offs to hearing aid domes, trade=offs you’ll want to consider before deciding. Among the most prevalent are the following:
- They aren’t always comfortable: Some individuals don’t like the feeling of something blocking their ear canal. Some people find this feeling, called “occlusion” by hearing specialist, extremely uncomfortable. Additionally, if you pull 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 most likely need to come see us to have it removed.
- They can sometimes be more prone to feedback: Feedback, though not that common, occasionally does occur. For individuals who are dealing with high frequency hearing loss, this is particularly true.
- Not suitable for all types of hearing loss: As an example, hearing aid domes won’t be the best option if you have high frequency hearing loss or profound hearing loss. For people with high-frequency hearing loss, once again, it’s the feedback that becomes the issue. For people who have profound hearing loss, it’s really the hearing aid itself that’s the issue: you’ll require something that’s bigger and which is more powerful than the styles typically associated with hearing aid domes.
Should I get hearing aid domes?
Ultimately, the decision 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 go over your specific needs and help advise you on the pros and cons.
For some people, it might be worth waiting the extra couple of weeks for a custom-fit device. For others, the immediate results of hearing aids you can use today will create healthy, lifelong hearing habits.
You’ve got options and that’s the good thing.