You’ve been avoiding 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 difficulty of living life without being able to hear has finally become too hard to ignore.
So when you do finally come in and then you learn that you will still have to wait another couple of weeks before you get your custom fit hearing aids, it can be discouraging.
That’s another two weeks coping with those lost moments before you can start getting them back. Of course, there is another alternative: a deceptively basic device add-on, known as hearing aid domes.
What are hearing aid domes?
Doesn’t that sound kind of epic? Like some kind of arena where hearing aids battle in ancient, mythical combat. Welcome to the Hearing Aid Dome: Two hearing aids enter…but only one leaves!
It’s not really that thrilling. But they are pretty neat. Hearing aid domes are put on the end of your hearing aid speakers like tiny earbuds. Generally made of plastic or silicone, they fit around that little part that goes in your ear canal, attaching to the tubing of your hearing aid. You can use them with both behind-the-ear and in-ear models. And they generally 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.
- In some cases, outside sound can impede the sound of your hearing aid and hearing aid domes help avoid that by regulating the amount of outside sound. Hearing aid domes work to improve 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. 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?
Most come in open and closed types, each letting in more or less background sound.
Hearing aid domes come in different types, including:
These have openings in the dome that allow more outside sound to pass through and into your ears. This helps your ear process ambient sounds while still getting the benefit of amplification.
As the name indicates, these domes have fewer holes and block more ambient sound than open domes do. These are better for more advanced hearing loss where ambient noise can be distracting.
Power domes completely block the ear canal and have no venting. With these, nearly no outside sound can get in. These domes will be ideal for people with extremely severe hearing impairment.
How frequently should you change your hearing aid domes?
For best effect, you should swap out your hearing aid domes every 2-3 months (your ears can be a bit unclean in there).
For most individuals, hearing aid domes can be used right out of the box. As a matter of fact, that’s one of their primary benefits.
What are the advantages of hearing aid domes?
There are a number of reasons why hearing aid domes are popular. Here are some prevailing advantages:
- 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 (likely) get through. Once again, this depends on the style of dome, and we can help you with this.
- 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.
- No fitting time: One of the most popular (and immediate) benefits of hearing aid domes is that you don’t need to wait. You can put them in and wear your hearing aid immediately. This is an ideal solution for individuals who don’t want to wait weeks for custom fit hearing aids. It’s also great for individuals who want to demo their hearing aids before they purchase them. With hearing aid domes, you don’t need to sacrifice sound clarity to get faster results.
- You’re able to hear your own voice: Some hearing aid domes are created to let a natural amount of sound come in. So you will still be capable of hearing your own voice. You’re more likely to wear your hearing aids more often if they sound clear and natural.
And, once again, this means many individuals are more likely to wear those hearing aids more often.
Are there downsides to hearing aid domes?
As with any hearing device or medical treatment, there are some downsides and trade-offs to hearing aid domes, trade=offs you’ll want to consider before deciding. Among the most prevalent are the following:
- They can at times be uncomfortable: Some people are uncomfortable with the feeling of something filling their ear canal. Some individuals find this sensation, called “occlusion” by hearing specialist, extremely uncomfortable. Also, your hearing aid dome can get stuck in your ear if you pull it out too fast or if you don’t keep it clean. If this happens, you’ll likely need to come see us to get it removed.
- They can occasionally be more prone to feedback: Feedback, though not very common, occasionally does happen. This is especially true for individuals who are dealing with high-frequency hearing loss.
- Not ideal for all forms of hearing loss: As an illustration, hearing aid domes won’t be the best option 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 issue. For individuals with profound hearing loss, it’s really the hearing aid itself that’s the problem: you’ll require something that’s bigger and which is more powerful than the types typically associated with hearing aid domes.
So are hearing aid domes for me?
Inevitably, the choice of whether you should use hearing aid domes or not is mostly a personal one. 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.
For some individuals, it may be worth waiting the extra two weeks for a custom-fit device. Others will create healthy lifelong hearing habits by opting for a solution that lets them begin using their new hearing aids right away.
The good thing is that you have options.