You’ve been avoiding calling us to see if you need hearing aids, but you’ve finally decided it’s time. Like many, you’ve been resisting this. But the stress of going through life without being able to hear has finally become too much.
So when you do finally come in and then you learn that you will still need to wait another two weeks before you get your custom fit hearing aids, it can be disheartening.
That’s another two weeks dealing with those lost moments before you can start getting them back. However, there is another alternative: a deceptively basic device add-on, known as hearing aid domes.
What are hearing aid domes?
They sound kind of grand, right? 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 bit less exciting than that. But they are pretty neat. Hearing aid domes are like little earbuds that you can put on the end of your hearing aid speaker. Usually made of silicone or plastic, they attach to the tubing of your hearing aid and fit on the part that goes inside of your ear canal. They’re made for both behind-the-ear or inside-the-ear-canal models of hearing aids. Here are the two basic functions:
- They situate the hearing aid speaker (the bit that you listen to) in the most effective position inside of your ear canal. And they secure the speaker so it won’t jiggle around inside of your ear.
- They can help limit the amount of external sound you hear, especially 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 kind of like those bulbs at the end of your earbuds. You will have to select the hearing aid dome that’s ideal for you from several types, and we can assist you in doing that.
What is the difference between hearing aid domes?
Most come in open and closed styles, each letting in more or less background sound.
Hearing aid domes come in different types, including:
These have holes in the dome that allow more outside sound to get through and into your ears. You get the benefit of amplification while still being able to process outside sounds.
As the name suggests, these domes have fewer openings and block more ambient sound than open domes can. These are better for more pronounced hearing loss where background noise can be distracting.
Power domes completely block the ear canal and have no venting. This means very little to no sound at all can get into the ear canal. These domes will be ideal for people with extremely severe hearing impairment.
How frequently should you change your hearing aid domes?
Every two to three months will be the ideal schedule for changing your hearing aid domes (your ears are not the dirtiest place, but they aren’t the cleanest, either).
For most people, hearing aid domes can be worn right out of the box. That’s one of the best things about them.
How will I benefit by wearing hearing aid buds?
Hearing aid domes are prevalent for a wide array of reasons. Here are some prevailing benefits:
- No fitting time: One of the most prominent (and immediate) advantages of hearing aid domes is that you don’t have to wait. You can put them in and use your hearing aid immediately. For people who don’t want to wait for custom fit hearing aids, it’s the ideal option. It’s also great for individuals who want to demo their hearing aids before they buy them. With hearing aid domes, patients don’t need to sacrifice sound clarity to get faster results.
- You’re able to hear your own voice: A natural amount of sound can get through some models of hearing aid domes. This means you can still hear your own voice as you normally would. You’re more likely to wear your hearing aids more often if they sound clear and natural.
- Everything sounds a little 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 in and that’s the reason for this. Once again, this depends on the type of dome, and we will help you with this.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes aren’t that big, especially when they’re in your ear. They’re rather discrete in this way.
And, once again, this means many people are more likely to wear those hearing aids more often.
Are there 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. Among the most prevalent are the following:
- They’re not always comfortable: Having something plugging the ear canal can be very uncomfortable for some individuals. Some individuals find this feeling, 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 probably need to come in and see us to have it removed if this happens.
- Occasionally, they can cause feedback: Feedback, though not very common, sometimes does occur. This is particularly true for people who have high-frequency hearing loss.
- Some types of hearing loss aren’t suited for hearing aid domes: For example, if you have 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 problem. It’s the hearing aid itself that’s an issue with profound hearing loss: you’ll need something that’s larger and which has more power than the types commonly associated with hearing aid domes.
Should I use hearing aid domes?
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 personal hearing health.
Some people may be better off waiting for a custom fitting. Others will build 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.