After months (possibly even years) of waiting, you’ve finally decided to give us a call to find out if you need hearing aids. Like many, you’ve been resisting this. 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 find out that you will still need to wait another two weeks before you get your custom fit hearing aids, it can be frustrating.
That means that you will be missing some of life’s precious 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?
They sound sort of grand, right? Like some kind 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 exciting than that. But they are rather neat. Hearing aid domes are like little earbuds that you can place on the end of your hearing aid speaker. Typically made of plastic or silicone, they fit over that little part that goes in your ear canal, attaching 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 position the hearing aid speaker (the part that you listen to) in an optimal position within your ear canal. And they position the speaker so it won’t move around inside of your ear.
- On occasion, outside sound can impede the sound of your hearing aid and hearing aid domes help stop that by regulating the amount of outside sound. When properly used, hearing aid domes give 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 ideal for you from several kinds, and we can help you do that.
What is the difference between hearing aid domes?
Open types and closed types each let in different levels of background sound.
Hearing aid domes come in different types, including:
These have openings in the dome that allow more natural sound to get through and into your ears. 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 advanced hearing loss where ambient noise can be a distraction.
Power domes totally block the ear canal and have no holes. With these, nearly no external sound can get in. These are most practical for very profound hearing loss.
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 aren’t the dirtiest place, but they aren’t the cleanest, either).
For most people, hearing aid domes can be worn right out of the box. As a matter of fact, that’s one of their primary benefits.
What are the advantages of hearing aid domes?
There are a number of reasons why hearing aid domes are popular. The most common advantages include the following:
- No fitting time: One of the most popular (and immediate) advantages of hearing aid domes is that you don’t have to wait. You can un-box them, pop them on your hearing aid and you’re good to go. For individuals who don’t want to wait for custom fit hearing aids, it’s the best option. And if you want to demo a hearing aid before you purchase it, they’re good for that too. For people who want faster results, hearing aid domes can provide a way to achieve that without sacrificing the quality of your sound clarity.
- You can hear your own voice: Some hearing aid domes are created to let a natural level of sound come in. So you will still be able to hear your own voice. You’ll most likely use your hearing aids more often if they sound clear and natural.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes aren’t that big, particularly when they’re in your ear. They’re pretty discrete in this way.
- The external world sounds more clear and natural: By finding the best hearing aid dome type, you can ensure that your hearing aids produce a natural overall sound and improved sound clarity. Most likely, some sound will still get through and that’s the reason for this. Once again, this depends on the style of dome, and we can help you with this.
And, once again, this means many individuals are more likely to wear those hearing aids more often.
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 consider before making a decision. Here are a few of the most prevalent:
- They’re not always comfortable: Having something plugging the ear canal can be extremely uncomfortable for some people. Some people find this sensation, called “occlusion” by hearing specialist, intensely uncomfortable. Additionally, if you pull your hearing aid dome out too fast (or don’t clean it often enough), there’s the chance that it might separate from the tubing and get stuck in your ear canal. You’ll most likely need to come in and see us to get it removed if this happens.
- Occasionally, they can cause feedback: Feedback, though not very common, occasionally does happen. This is especially true for those who are dealing with high-frequency hearing loss.
- Some types of hearing loss aren’t suitable for hearing aid domes: For example, if you are suffering from profound hearing loss or high frequency hearing loss, hearing aid domes might not be the preferred solution for you. 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 type of hearing aid typically associated with hearing aid domes is usually not large or powerful enough for this form of hearing loss.
So are hearing aid domes right for me?
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 discuss 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. Others will build healthy lifelong hearing habits by choosing a solution that lets them start using their new hearing aids immediately.
You have options and that’s the nice thing.