You’ve been putting off calling us to find out 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 it’s a bit frustrating when you’re at the hearing specialist’s office and you learn that you’re going to need to wait another couple of weeks for custom fit hearing aids.
That means that you will be losing some of life’s treasured moments for two more weeks. But you could try a basic little device add on called a hearing aid dome instead.
What are hearing aid domes?
They sound kind of epic, right? Like hearing aids dueling in some kind of ancient mythical arena. 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 put on the end of your hearing aid speakers like little earbuds. Usually made out of silicone or plastic, they connect to the tubing of your hearing aid and fit around the part that goes into your ear canal. You can use them with both behind-the-ear and in-ear models. And they generally do two things:
- They assure 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.
- They can help limit the amount of external sound you hear, especially when that outside sound can impede the function of your hearing aid. When used correctly, hearing aid domes give you some extra control and work to improve sound quality.
Those small bulbs at the end of earbuds are similar to hearing aid domes. You will have to select the hearing aid dome that’s best for you from a number of 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 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. 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 quite distracting and this kind of dome can help with that.
Power domes don’t have any holes and totally block outside sounds. With these, almost no external sound can get in. These are most effective for very profound hearing loss.
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 aren’t the dirtiest place, but they aren’t the cleanest, either).
Hearing aid domes can usually be worn right out of the box. As a matter of fact, that’s one of their biggest benefits.
What are the advantages of hearing aid domes?
There are numerous reasons why hearing aid domes are prevalent. The most widespread benefits include the following:
- Everything sounds a little more natural: You can be certain your hearing aids create a clear, natural sound quality by choosing the right type of hearing aid domes. That’s because some sound will still (probably) get in. Once again, this depends on the style of dome, and we will help you with this.
- You’re able to hear your own voice: A natural level of sound can get through some types of hearing aid domes. So you will still be capable of hearing your own voice. This makes the clarity of sound feel a lot more natural, which means you’re more likely to use your hearing aids far more often.
- No fitting time: Not having to wait is one of the greatest advantages of hearing aid domes. You can put them in and wear your hearing aid right away. For people 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 buy it, they’re great for that too. With hearing aid domes, you don’t need to sacrifice sound clarity to get faster results.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes aren’t that big, particularly when they’re in your ear. In this way, they can be rather discrete.
And again, this will mean you’re not as likely to leave your hearing aid sitting in a drawer.
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 individuals don’t like the feeling of something filling their ear canal. Hearing specialists call this feeling “occlusion,” and some people can find it extremely uncomfortable. Also, your hearing aid dome can get lodged in your ear if you pull it out too quickly or if you don’t keep it clean. 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, though not that common, sometimes does occur. This is especially true for people who are dealing with high-frequency hearing loss.
- Not suitable for all types of hearing loss: For instance, if you are suffering from profound hearing loss or high frequency hearing loss, hearing aid domes might not be the preferred option for you. Once again, the feedback can become a problem with high frequency hearing loss. For people with profound hearing loss, it’s really the hearing aid itself that’s the issue: you’ll need something that’s larger and which has more power than the styles typically 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 look at your specific needs and help advise you on the pros and cons.
For some individuals, it may be worth waiting the extra two weeks for a custom-fit device. For others, the quick results of hearing aids you can wear today will create healthy, lifelong hearing habits.
The nice thing is that you’ve got options.