After months (maybe even years) of waiting, you’ve finally decided to contact us to find out if you need hearing aids. You’ve been resisting this like so many others. But the hassle, the lost moments, the missing conversations, they all finally became too much.
So it’s a bit frustrating when you’re at 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 struggling with those lost moments before you can begin getting them back. However, there is another option: a deceptively basic device add-on, known as hearing aid domes.
What exactly is a hearing aid dome?
Doesn’t that sound sort of epic? Like hearing aids fighting in some kind of ancient mythological arena. Only one hearing aid can come forth victorious from the hearing aid dome.
It’s not really that thrilling. They are pretty cool though. Hearing aid domes are like tiny 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 on the part that goes inside of your ear canal. You can use them with both behind-the-ear and in-ear models. Here are the two general functions:
- They situate the hearing aid speaker (the part that you listen to) in an optimal position inside of your ear canal. And they secure the speaker so it won’t move around inside of your ear.
- On occasion, outside sound can interfere with the sound of your hearing aid and hearing aid domes help stop that by regulating the amount of outside sound. When used correctly, hearing aid domes offer you some extra control and work to enhance sound clarity.
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 a number of kinds, and we can assist you in doing that.
What is the difference between hearing aid domes?
Most come in open and closed types, each letting in more or less ambient sound.
Hearing aid domes come in different kinds, including:
With these, more sound is capable of passing through little holes in the dome. This helps your ear process ambient sounds while still getting the benefit of amplification.
As the name indicates, these domes have fewer holes and stop more ambient sound than open domes do. For people with more severe hearing loss, ambient noise can be quite distracting and this type of dome can help with that.
Power domes have no holes and totally block external sounds. With these, nearly no external sound can get in. These domes will be ideal for individuals with extremely severe hearing loss.
How frequently should you change your hearing aid domes?
Every two to three months will be the best schedule for changing your hearing aid domes (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 advantages.
What are the advantages of hearing aid domes?
Hearing aid domes are popular for a wide array of reasons. The most common advantages include the following:
- Everything sounds a bit more natural: By selecting the right hearing aid dome type, you can guarantee that your hearing aids produce a natural overall sound and improved sound clarity. More than likely, some sound will still get through and that’s the reason for this. We can help you determine the kind that’s best for you.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes are pretty small, particularly when they’re tucked inside your ear. They’re pretty discrete in this way.
- No fitting time: One of the most prominent (and immediate) benefits of hearing aid domes is that you don’t need to wait. You can un-box them, put them on your hearing aid and you’re ready to go. This is an ideal solution for people who don’t want to wait weeks for custom fit hearing aids. And if you want to try out a hearing aid before you purchase it, they’re great for that too. With hearing aid domes, you don’t have to sacrifice sound clarity to get faster results.
- You’re able to hear your own voice: Some hearing aid domes are designed to let a natural level of sound get through. This means you will still be able to hear your own voice as you naturally would. You’ll most likely use your hearing aids more often if they sound clear and natural.
And again, this will mean you’re less likely to leave your hearing aid sitting in a drawer.
What are the downsides to hearing aid domes?
You’ll want to be aware of some of the drawbacks and trade-offs that come with hearing aid domes. Among the most prevalent are the following:
- They’re not always comfortable: Some people don’t like the feeling of something blocking their ear canal. Some people find this feeling, called “occlusion” by hearing specialist, intensely uncomfortable. Also, your hearing aid dome can get lodged in your ear if you pull it out too fast 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 sometimes be more prone to feedback: Feedback isn’t necessarily common, but it does happen. This is particularly true for people who have high-frequency hearing loss.
- Some forms of hearing loss aren’t suitable for hearing aid domes: As an illustration, hearing aid domes won’t be the ideal 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 those with profound hearing loss, it’s really the hearing aid itself that’s the problem: the kind of hearing aid commonly associated with hearing aid domes is normally not large or powerful enough for this form of hearing loss.
So are hearing aid domes for me?
Ultimately, the decision of whether you should use hearing aid domes or not is largely a personal one. We can help but it’s up to you. And we will go over your specific needs and help advise you on the pros and cons.
Some individuals might do better waiting for a custom fitting. For others, the quick results of hearing aids you can use today will build healthy, lifelong hearing habits.
The good thing is that you have options.