After months (maybe even years) of waiting, you’ve finally resolved to give us a call to see if you should get hearing aids. Like many other people, you’ve been resisting this. But the hassle, the lost moments, the missing conversations, they all finally became too hard to ignore.
So it’s a little discouraging 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 precious moments for two more weeks. But you could try a simple little device add on called a hearing aid dome instead.
What exactly is a hearing aid dome?
Doesn’t that sound sort of epic? Like hearing aids fighting in some type of ancient mythical arena. Welcome to the Hearing Aid Dome: Two hearing aids enter…but only one leaves!
It’s not quite that thrilling. They are pretty cool though. Hearing aid domes are like tiny 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 inside your ear canal, connecting to the tubing of your hearing aid. They’re made for behind-the-ear or inside-the-ear-canal models of hearing aids. Here are the two general functions:
- 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.
- Sometimes, external 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 improve the sound quality and provide an extra bit of control when used correctly.
Domes for hearing aids look sort of like those bulbs at the end of your earbuds. There are multiple hearing aid dome types, 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 amounts of background sound.
Hearing aid dome types include:
These have openings in the dome that allow more natural sound to get through and into your ears. This helps your ear process natural sounds while still getting the advantage of amplification.
As the name implies, these domes have fewer openings and block more ambient sound than open domes do. These are better for more pronounced hearing loss where ambient noise can be distracting.
Power domes have no holes and totally block outside sounds. With these, almost no external sound can get in. These are most practical for extremely severe hearing loss.
Do hearing aid domes need to be swapped out?
For best results, you should swap out your hearing aid domes every 2-3 months (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.
How will I benefit by wearing hearing aid buds?
There are a number of reasons why hearing aid domes are popular. The most widespread advantages include the following:
- You can hear your own voice: Some hearing aid domes are created to let a natural amount of sound get through. This means you can still hear your own voice as you naturally would. You’ll most likely use your hearing aids more often if they sound clear and natural.
- Everything sounds a bit more natural: You can be certain your hearing aids create a clear, natural sound quality by selecting the right type of hearing aid domes. More than likely, some sound will still get through and that’s the reason for this. Once again, this depends on the type of dome, and we will help you with this.
- No fitting time: One of the most popular (and immediate) advantages of hearing aid domes is that you don’t need to wait. You can un-box them, put them on your hearing aid and you’re ready to go. 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 great for that too. For patients who want results faster, hearing aid domes can provide a way to accomplish that without sacrificing the quality of your sound clarity.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes aren’t very big, especially when they’re in your ear. In this way, they can be pretty discrete.
And again, this will mean you’re not as likely to leave your hearing aid sitting on your nightstand.
Are there drawbacks to hearing aid domes?
You’ll want to be mindful of some of the downsides and trade-offs that come with hearing aid domes. Here are a few of the most common:
- They can sometimes be uncomfortable: Some people don’t like the feeling of something blocking their ear canal. Hearing specialists call this feeling “occlusion,” and some individuals can find it intensely uncomfortable. In addition, if you take your hearing aid dome out too fast (or don’t clean it frequently enough), there’s the chance that it might 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 sometimes be more prone to feedback: Feedback, though not very common, occasionally does occur. For individuals who have high frequency hearing loss, this is especially true.
- Not suitable for all forms of hearing loss: As an illustration, hearing aid domes won’t be the ideal 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 problem. 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 form of hearing loss.
Should I get hearing aid domes?
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.
Some individuals might be better off waiting for a custom fitting. Others will build healthy lifelong hearing habits by choosing a solution that lets them start using their new hearing aids right away.
You have options and that’s the good thing.