You’ve been putting off calling us to find out if you need hearing aids, but you’ve finally decided it’s time. You’ve been resisting this like so many other people. But the hassle, the lost moments, the missing interactions, they all finally became too much.
So when you do finally come in and then you find out that you will still need to wait another couple of weeks before you get your custom fit hearing aids, it can be disheartening.
That means that you will be missing some of life’s treasured moments for two more weeks. Of course, there is another alternative: a deceptively basic device add-on, called hearing aid domes.
What are hearing aid domes?
Doesn’t that sound kind of epic? Like hearing aids dueling in some type of ancient mythical arena. Welcome to the Hearing Aid Dome: Two hearing aids enter…but only one leaves!
Well, it’s a bit less thrilling than that. But they are rather neat. Hearing aid domes are like tiny earbuds that you can put at the end of your hearing aid speaker. Typically made of plastic or silicone, they fit around that little part that goes inside your ear canal, attaching to the tubing of your hearing aid. They’re made for behind-the-ear or inside-the-ear-canal models of hearing aids. And they basically do two things:
- They position the hearing aid speaker (the part that you listen to) in an ideal position within your ear canal. And they position the speaker so it won’t jiggle around in your ear.
- In some cases, outside sound can impede the sound of your hearing aid and hearing aid domes help stop that by regulating the amount of outside sound. Hearing aid domes work to enhance the sound clarity and offer an extra bit of control when used properly.
Those little bulbs at the end of earbuds are similar to hearing aid domes. There are multiple hearing aid dome styles, so we will help you select the one that’s best for your situation.
What is the difference between hearing aid domes?
Open types and closed types each let in different levels of background sound.
Hearing aid dome types include:
With these, more sound is capable of passing through little holes in the dome. This helps your ear process ambient sounds along with the advantage of amplification.
These domes let less outside sound in through fewer and smaller holes. These are better for more pronounced hearing loss where background noise can be distracting.
Power domes don’t have any holes and totally block outside sounds. With these, almost no external sound can get in. These are most effective for very severe hearing loss.
How often should you change your hearing aid domes?
For best results, you should swap out your hearing aid domes every 2-3 months (your ears are not the dirtiest place, but they aren’t the cleanest, either).
Hearing aid domes can typically be worn right out of the box. That’s one of the best things about them.
How will I benefit by wearing hearing aid buds?
There are a number of reasons why hearing aid domes are prevalent. The most common advantages include the following:
- You’re able to hear your own voice: Some hearing aid domes are created to let a natural level of sound get through. This means you can still hear your own voice as you normally would. This makes the clarity of sound seem a lot more natural, which means you’re more likely to use your hearing a great deal more often.
- No fitting time: Not needing to wait is one of the best benefits of hearing aid domes. You can put them in and use your hearing aid immediately. For individuals who don’t want to wait for custom fit hearing aids, it’s the ideal solution. And if you want to demo a hearing aid before you purchase it, they’re good for that too. With hearing aid domes, patients don’t need 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 rather discrete in this way.
- 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. Most likely, some sound will still get through and that’s the reason for this. Again, this depends on the style of dome, and we can help you with this.
And again, this will mean you’re not as likely to leave your hearing aid sitting in a drawer.
Are there downsides 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 think about before making a decision. Here are a few of the most prevalent:
- They’re not always comfortable: Some people are uncomfortable with the feeling of something blocking their ear canal. Some people find this feeling, called “occlusion” by hearing specialist, intensely uncomfortable. Also, your hearing aid dome can become lodged in your ear if you pull it out too quickly or if you don’t keep it clean. If this occurs, you’ll most likely need to come see us to have it removed.
- They can occasionally be more prone to feedback: Feedback isn’t necessarily typical, but it does occur. For people who have high frequency hearing loss, this is especially true.
- Some types of hearing loss aren’t suitable for hearing aid domes: As an example, hearing aid domes won’t be the ideal option if you have high frequency hearing loss or profound hearing loss. Again, the feedback can become a problem with high frequency hearing loss. It’s the hearing aid itself that’s a problem with profound hearing loss: the kind of hearing aid typically associated with hearing aid domes is normally not large or powerful enough for this type 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 be able to help you understand all the pros and cons related to your personal hearing health.
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 use today will create healthy, lifelong hearing habits.
You have options and that’s the nice thing.