You’ve been putting off calling us to see if you need hearing aids, but you’ve finally decided it’s time. 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 bit disheartening when you’re at the hearing specialist’s office and you find out that you’re going to need to wait another couple of weeks for custom fit hearing aids.
That’s another two weeks coping with those lost moments before you can begin getting them back. Of course, there is another alternative: a deceptively basic device add-on, called hearing aid domes.
What exactly is a hearing aid dome?
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 put at the end of your hearing aid speaker. Typically made of plastic or silicone, they fit over 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. And they basically do two things:
- They situate the hearing aid speaker (the bit that you listen to) in an ideal position inside of your ear canal. And they secure the speaker so it won’t move around in your ear.
- Sometimes, 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. When used correctly, hearing aid domes give you some extra control and work to improve sound clarity.
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 amounts of ambient sound.
Hearing aid domes come in different types, 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 outside sounds.
These domes let less outside sound in through fewer and smaller holes. For individuals with more profound hearing loss, background noise can be really distracting and this kind of dome can help with that.
Power domes totally block the ear canal and have no holes. With these, almost no external sound can get in. These are most effective for very profound hearing loss.
Do hearing aid domes need to be swapped out?
For best effect, you should swap out your hearing aid domes every 2-3 months (your ears can be a bit unclean in there).
Hearing aid domes can typically be used right out of the box. In fact, that’s one of their biggest advantages.
How will I benefit by wearing hearing aid buds?
Hearing aid domes are prevalent for a wide array of reasons. The most common advantages include the following:
- No fitting time: Not needing 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 solution. And if you want to try out a hearing aid before you buy it, they’re good for that too. With hearing aid domes, patients don’t need to sacrifice sound clarity to get faster results.
- Everything sounds a bit more natural: By finding the correct hearing aid dome type, you can ensure that your hearing aids produce a natural overall sound and enhanced sound clarity. More than likely, some sound will still get through and that’s the reason for this. We can help you identify the kind that’s best for you.
- You can hear your own voice: Some hearing aid domes are created to let a natural amount of sound get through. This means you will still be able to hear your own voice as you normally would. This makes the clarity of sound seem a lot more natural, which means you’re likely to use your hearing aids far more often.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes aren’t very big, especially when they’re in 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 in a drawer.
What are the 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. Among the most prevalent are the following:
- They’re not always comfortable: Having something plugging the ear canal can be really unpleasant for some individuals. 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 might separate from the tubing and get lodged in your ear canal. You’ll most likely 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 people who are dealing with high frequency hearing loss, this is especially true.
- 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. For those with high-frequency hearing loss, once again, it’s the feedback that becomes the issue. It’s the hearing aid itself that’s an issue with profound hearing loss: you’ll require something that’s larger and which has more power than the styles commonly associated with hearing aid domes.
So are hearing aid domes for me?
It’s largely a personal choice whether you use hearing aid domes. It’s your choice but we can help. And we will discuss your individual needs and help advise you on the pros and cons.
Some individuals might do better waiting for a custom fitting. Others will create healthy lifelong hearing habits by choosing a solution that lets them begin using their new hearing aids right away.
The nice thing is that you have options.