After months (maybe even years) of waiting, you’ve finally decided to give us a call to see if you need hearing aids. You have been resisting this like so many others. 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 learn that you will still need to wait another couple of weeks before you obtain your custom fit hearing aids, it can be discouraging.
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 simple device add-on, known as hearing aid domes.
What are hearing aid domes?
Doesn’t that sound sort of epic? Like some type of arena where hearing aids battle 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. But they are pretty neat. Hearing aid domes are like little earbuds that you can place at the end of your hearing aid speaker. 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. You can use them on both behind-the-ear and in-ear models. Here are the two basic functions:
- They position the hearing aid speaker (the part that you listen to) in an ideal position inside of your ear canal. And they position the speaker so it won’t jiggle around inside of your ear.
- On occasion, external sound can interfere with the sound of your hearing aid and hearing aid domes help stop that by controlling the amount of outside sound. Hearing aid domes work to improve the sound clarity and offer an extra bit of control when used correctly.
Domes for hearing aids look sort of like those bulbs at the end of your earbuds. You will have to choose the hearing aid dome that’s ideal for you from several kinds, and we can assist you in doing that.
Different types of hearing aid domes
Most come in open and closed designs, each letting in more or less ambient 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 while still getting the advantage of amplification.
These domes let less outside sound in through fewer and smaller holes. For individuals with more profound hearing loss, ambient noise can be very distracting and this type of dome can help with that.
Power domes completely block the ear canal and have no holes. This means very little to no sound at all can get into the ear canal. These are most practical for very severe hearing loss.
How frequently should you change your hearing aid domes?
Every two to three months will be the best schedule for changing your hearing aid domes (your ears can be a bit unclean in there).
Hearing aid domes can typically be worn right out of the box. In fact, that’s one of their primary advantages.
How will I benefit by using hearing aid buds?
Hearing aid domes are prevalent for a wide array of reasons. Here are a few common advantages:
- No fitting time: One of the most popular (and immediate) benefits of hearing aid domes is that you don’t need to wait. You can un-box them, pop them on your hearing aid and you’re good to go. This is an ideal option for individuals who don’t want to wait weeks for custom fit hearing aids. It’s also good for individuals who want to demo their hearing aids before they buy them. With hearing aid domes, you don’t need to sacrifice sound clarity to get quicker results.
- Everything sounds a bit more natural: By choosing the correct hearing aid dome type, you can be certain that your hearing aids generate a natural overall sound and enhanced sound clarity. That’s because some sound will still (probably) get through. Again, this depends on the type of dome, and we will help you with this.
- You can hear your own voice: A natural amount of sound can get through some types of hearing aid domes. This means you will still be able to hear your own voice as you naturally would. You’re more likely to wear your hearing aids more if they sound clear and natural.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes are pretty small, especially when they’re tucked into your ear. They’re pretty discrete in this way.
And again, this will mean you’re not as likely to leave your hearing aid sitting on your nightstand.
Are there downsides 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 common:
- They’re not always comfortable: Some individuals are uncomfortable with the feeling of something filling their ear canal. Some individuals find this sensation, called “occlusion” by hearing specialist, extremely uncomfortable. In addition, if you pull your hearing aid dome out too fast (or don’t clean it frequently enough), there’s the possibility that it may separate from the tubing and get lodged in your ear canal. You’ll probably need to come in and see us to get it removed if this happens.
- They can occasionally be more prone to feedback: Feedback isn’t necessarily common, but it can happen. For individuals who have high frequency hearing loss, this is particularly true.
- Not ideal for all forms of hearing loss: For example, if you are suffering from profound hearing loss or high frequency hearing loss, hearing aid domes might not be the best 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 type of hearing loss.
Should I get hearing aid domes?
It’s largely 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 pertaining to your unique hearing health.
For some people, 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.
You’ve got options and that’s the nice thing.