After months (possibly even years) of waiting, you’ve finally resolved to give us a call to see if you need hearing aids. Like many, you’ve been resisting this. But the hassle, the lost moments, the missing interactions, 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 find out that you’re going to need to wait another two weeks for custom fit hearing aids.
That’s another two weeks dealing with those lost moments before you can begin getting them back. But you could try a simple little device add on known as a hearing aid dome instead.
What are hearing aid domes?
They sound sort of epic, right? Like hearing aids fighting in some kind of ancient mythical arena. Only one hearing aid can come forth victorious from the hearing aid dome.
It’s not quite that exciting. But they are pretty neat. Hearing aid domes are like little earbuds that you can put at the end of your hearing aid speaker. Usually made of silicone or plastic, they connect to the tubing of your hearing aid and fit around the part that goes inside of your ear canal. They’re made for behind-the-ear or inside-the-ear-canal style 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 help keep the speaker in place. That way it’s not wiggling around.
- They can help limit the amount of outside sound you hear, particularly when that outside sound can impede the functionality of your hearing aid. Hearing aid domes work to enhance the sound quality and offer an extra bit of control when used properly.
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 types, 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 background sound.
Hearing aid domes come in different kinds, including:
With these, more sound is able to pass through little holes in the dome. You get the benefit of amplification while still being able to process external sounds.
As the name implies, these domes have fewer openings and stop more ambient sound than open domes do. For people with more profound hearing loss, background noise can be really distracting and this type of dome can help with that.
Power domes don’t have any holes and completely block external sounds. This means very little to no sound at all can get into the ear canal. These domes will be ideal for individuals with extremely severe hearing impairment.
How often should you change your hearing aid domes?
For best effect, 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).
For most people, hearing aid domes can be used right out of the box. In fact, that’s one of their biggest benefits.
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:
- The outside world sounds more clear and natural: By finding the correct hearing aid dome type, you can ensure that your hearing aids generate a natural overall sound and enhanced sound clarity. That’s because some sound will still (probably) get in. We can help you determine the type that’s best for you.
- You can hear your own voice: A natural level of sound can get through some models of hearing aid domes. So you will still be capable of hearing your own voice. You’ll most likely wear your hearing aids more if they sound clear and natural.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes are fairly small, especially when they’re tucked into your ear. In this way, they can be rather discrete.
- 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 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. With hearing aid domes, you don’t need to sacrifice sound clarity to get quicker results.
And again, this will mean you’re not as likely to leave your hearing aid sitting in a drawer.
What are the drawbacks to hearing aid domes?
You’ll want to be aware 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 individuals don’t like the feeling of something blocking their ear canal. Some people find this feeling, called “occlusion” by hearing specialist, extremely uncomfortable. Also, your hearing aid dome can get stuck in your ear if you pull it out too quickly or if you don’t keep it clean. If this occurs, you’ll likely need to come see us to have it removed.
- They can occasionally be more prone to feedback: Feedback isn’t necessarily common, but it can happen. This is especially true for people who have high-frequency hearing loss.
- Some types of hearing loss aren’t suited for hearing aid domes: As an example, hearing aid domes won’t be the ideal choice if you have high frequency hearing loss or profound hearing loss. For people with high-frequency hearing loss, again, it’s the feedback that becomes the problem. For people who have profound hearing loss, it’s really the hearing aid itself that’s the issue: you’ll need something that’s larger and which is more powerful than the styles typically associated with hearing aid domes.
So are hearing aid domes right for me?
It’s largely a personal choice whether you use hearing aid domes. It’s up to you but we can help. And we will be able to help you understand all the pros and cons pertaining to your unique hearing health.
Some individuals might do better waiting for a custom fitting. Others will build healthy lifelong hearing habits by opting for a solution that lets them begin using their new hearing aids right away.
You’ve got options and that’s the nice thing.