After months (maybe even years) of waiting, you’ve finally decided to give us a call to see if you should get hearing aids. You have been resisting this like so many other people. But the stress of living life without being able to hear has finally become too much.
So it’s a little frustrating when you’re sitting in the hearing specialist’s office and you learn that you’re going to need to wait another two weeks for custom fit hearing aids.
That means that you will be missing 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 sort of epic, 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 thrilling than that. They are pretty cool though. Hearing aid domes are like tiny earbuds that you can place on the end of your hearing aid speaker. Typically made of plastic or silicone, they fit over that little part that goes inside your ear canal, attaching to the tubing of your hearing aid. They’re made for both behind-the-ear or inside-the-ear-canal style hearing aids. And they basically do two things:
- They guarantee that the speaker of the hearing aid is seated in an optimal position in your ear. And they help secure the speaker in place. That way it’s not wiggling around.
- On occasion, outside sound can impede the sound of your hearing aid and hearing aid domes help stop 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.
Those little bulbs at the end of earbuds are a lot like hearing aid domes. You will have to select the hearing aid dome that’s best for you from several kinds, and we can assist you in doing that.
What is the difference between hearing aid domes?
Open types and closed types each let in different levels of background sound.
Hearing aid dome models include:
With these, more sound is able to pass through little holes in the dome. This helps your ear process ambient sounds along with the advantage of amplification.
As the name indicates, these domes have fewer openings and block 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 totally block the ear canal and have no holes. With these, nearly no external sound can get in. These domes will be best for individuals with very severe hearing loss.
Do hearing aid domes need to be changed?
Every two to three months will be the best schedule for changing your hearing aid domes (your ears aren’t the dirtiest place, but they aren’t the cleanest, either).
For most individuals, hearing aid domes can 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?
Hearing aid domes are popular for a wide variety of reasons. The most widespread benefits include the following:
- No fitting time: One of the most prominent (and immediate) benefits of hearing aid domes is that you don’t have to wait. You can un-box them, put them on your hearing aid and you’re ready to go. For individuals who don’t want to wait for custom fit hearing aids, it’s the best option. It’s also great for people who want to try out their hearing aids before they purchase them. With hearing aid domes, patients don’t have to sacrifice sound clarity to get quicker results.
- Everything sounds a bit more natural: By selecting the correct hearing aid dome type, you can be certain that your hearing aids generate a natural overall sound and enhanced sound clarity. Most likely, some sound will still get in and that’s the reason for this. Once again, this depends on the style of dome, and we can help you with this.
- You can hear your own voice: Some hearing aid domes are designed to let a natural amount of sound get through. This means you can still hear your own voice as you normally would. You’ll most likely wear your hearing aids more if they sound clear and natural.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes are fairly small, particularly when they’re tucked inside 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.
What are the 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 think about before deciding. Among the most common are the following:
- They can sometimes be uncomfortable: Having something filling the ear canal can be really unpleasant for some people. Hearing specialists call this feeling “occlusion,” and some individuals can find it intensely uncomfortable. In addition, if you take your hearing aid dome out too fast (or don’t clean it often enough), there’s the possibility that it may 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.
- Occasionally, they can cause feedback: Feedback isn’t necessarily typical, but it does happen. This is especially true for people who have high-frequency hearing loss.
- Not suitable for all forms of hearing loss: For example, if you have profound hearing loss or high frequency hearing loss, hearing aid domes may not be the preferred solution for you. Once again, the feedback can become a problem with high frequency hearing loss. For people who have profound hearing loss, it’s really the hearing aid itself that’s the issue: the kind of hearing aid commonly associated with hearing aid domes is usually not large or powerful enough for this form of hearing loss.
Should I get hearing aid domes?
Inevitably, 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 be able to help you understand all the pros and cons pertaining to your personal hearing health.
Some people might do better waiting for a custom fitting. Others will create healthy lifelong hearing habits by opting for a solution that lets them start using their new hearing aids right away.
The nice thing is that you’ve got options.