You’ve been putting off 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 inconvenience, the lost moments, the missing conversations, they all finally became too much.
So it’s a little discouraging when you’re sitting in the hearing specialist’s office and you learn that you’re going to have to wait another couple of weeks for custom fit hearing aids.
That means that you will be losing some of life’s precious moments for two more weeks. Of course, there is another alternative: a deceptively simple device add-on, known as hearing aid domes.
What exactly is a hearing aid dome?
Doesn’t that sound sort of epic? Like some type of arena where hearing aids duel in ancient, mythological combat. Only one hearing aid can emerge victorious from the hearing aid dome.
It’s not quite that thrilling. They are rather cool though. Hearing aid domes are put on the end of your hearing aid speakers like small earbuds. Usually made out 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 on both behind-the-ear and in-ear models. And they basically do two things:
- They assure that the speaker of the hearing aid is sitting in an optimal position in your ear. And they position the speaker so it won’t move around in your ear.
- They can help limit the amount of outside sound you hear, especially when that outside sound can interfere with the function of your hearing aid. Hearing aid domes work to enhance the sound clarity and offer an extra bit of control when used correctly.
Domes for hearing aids look sort of like those bulbs at the end of your earbuds. 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.
What is the difference between hearing aid domes?
Open types and closed types each let in different amounts of ambient sound.
Hearing aid dome models include:
These have holes in the dome that allow more outside sound to pass through and into your ears. This helps your ear process natural sounds along with the benefit 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, background noise can be very distracting and this kind of dome can help with that.
Power domes completely block the ear canal and have no holes. This means virtually no sound at all can get into the ear canal. These domes will be ideal for individuals with extremely severe hearing impairment.
How often should you change your hearing aid domes?
For best effect, you should change 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 typically be used right out of the box. In fact, that’s one of their biggest benefits.
How will I benefit by using hearing aid buds?
There are numerous reasons why hearing aid domes are prevalent. Here are some prevailing benefits:
- You’re able to hear your own voice: Some hearing aid domes are created to let a natural amount of sound get through. This means you will still be able to hear your own voice as you normally would. You’ll most likely wear your hearing aids more often 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. They’re rather discrete in this way.
- The external world sounds more clear and natural: You can be certain your hearing aids produce a clear, natural sound quality by choosing the right type of hearing aid domes. More than likely, some sound will still get in and that’s the reason for this. We can help you identify the type that’s best for you.
- No fitting time: Not needing to wait is one of the best advantages of hearing aid domes. You can un-box them, put them on your hearing aid and you’re good to go. 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 purchase it, they’re good for that too. With hearing aid domes, you don’t need to sacrifice sound clarity to get faster results.
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 can at times be uncomfortable: Some individuals are uncomfortable with the feeling of something blocking their ear canal. Hearing specialists call this feeling “occlusion,” and some people can find it intensely unpleasant. Additionally, if you pull your hearing aid dome out too quickly (or don’t clean it frequently enough), there’s the chance that it may separate from the tubing and get lodged in your ear canal. If this occurs, you’ll likely need to come see us to get it removed.
- They can occasionally be more prone to feedback: Feedback isn’t necessarily typical, but it does happen. For individuals who have high frequency hearing loss, this is especially true.
- Not ideal for all forms of hearing loss: As an illustration, hearing aid domes won’t be the ideal option if you have high frequency hearing loss or profound hearing loss. Again, the feedback can become an issue with high frequency hearing loss. It’s the hearing aid itself that’s a problem with profound hearing loss: the kind of hearing aid typically associated with hearing aid domes is usually not large or powerful enough for this type of hearing loss.
So are hearing aid domes right for me?
Ultimately, the choice of whether you should use hearing aid domes or not is mostly a personal one. It’s up to you but we can help. And we will be able to walk you through all the pros and cons pertaining to your unique hearing health.
Some people might be better off waiting for a custom fitting. Others will build 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 have options.