After months (possibly even years) of waiting, you’ve finally decided to give us a call to see if you should get hearing aids. You’ve been resisting this like so many other people. But the inconvenience, the lost moments, the missing interactions, they all finally became too hard to ignore.
So when you do finally come in and then you find out that you will still have to wait another two weeks before you get your custom fit hearing aids, it can be frustrating.
That’s another two weeks coping with those lost moments before you can begin getting them back. However, there is another option: a deceptively simple device add-on, called hearing aid domes.
What exactly is a hearing aid dome?
They sound sort of epic, right? Like hearing aids fighting 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 little less thrilling than that. But they are rather neat. Hearing aid domes are like little earbuds that you can place on 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 basic functions:
- They guarantee that the speaker of the hearing aid is seated in an ideal position in your ear. And they position the speaker so it won’t jiggle 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. When used correctly, hearing aid domes give you some extra control and work to enhance sound clarity.
Those small bulbs at the end of earbuds are similar to hearing aid domes. There are multiple hearing aid dome styles, so we will help you select the one that’s best for your needs.
Different types of hearing aid domes
Open types and closed types each let in different amounts of background sound.
Hearing aid dome models include:
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 external sounds.
These domes let less external sound in through fewer and smaller holes. These are better for more pronounced hearing loss where background noise can be distracting.
Power domes have no holes and totally block external sounds. This means very little to no sound at all can pass into the ear canal. These domes will be best for people with very severe hearing impairment.
How frequently should you change your hearing aid domes?
For best results, 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).
For most people, hearing aid domes can be worn right out of the box. In fact, that’s one of their biggest advantages.
What are the benefits of hearing aid domes?
Hearing aid domes are popular for a wide array of reasons. The most common advantages include the following:
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes aren’t that big, especially when they’re in your ear. They’re rather discrete in this way.
- Everything sounds a bit more natural: By selecting the best hearing aid dome type, you can be certain that your hearing aids generate a natural overall sound and enhanced sound clarity. That’s because some sound will still (likely) get through. We can help you identify the type that’s best for you.
- You can hear your own voice: A natural level of sound can get through some models of hearing aid domes. So you will still be able to hear your own voice. This makes the clarity of sound seem much more natural, which means you’re more likely to use your hearing a great deal more often.
- 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, pop 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 ideal solution. It’s also great for individuals who want to try out their hearing aids before they purchase them. For people who want faster results, hearing aid domes can provide a way to accomplish that without compromising the quality of your sound clarity.
And again, this will mean you’re less likely to leave your hearing aid sitting in a drawer.
What are the drawbacks to hearing aid domes?
You’ll want to be aware of some of the drawbacks and trade-offs that come with hearing aid domes. Here are a few of the most prevalent:
- They can at times be uncomfortable: Some people are uncomfortable with the feeling of something blocking their ear canal. Hearing specialists call this sensation “occlusion,” and some people can find it intensely uncomfortable. In addition, if you pull 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 probably need to come in and see us to have it removed if this happens.
- Sometimes, they can cause feedback: Feedback, though not really common, occasionally does happen. For individuals who have high frequency hearing loss, this is particularly true.
- Not ideal for all types of hearing loss: As an example, hearing aid domes won’t be the ideal option if you have high frequency hearing loss or profound hearing loss. For those with high-frequency hearing loss, once again, it’s the feedback that becomes the issue. For people with profound hearing loss, it’s really the hearing aid itself that’s the problem: you’ll require something that’s larger and which is more powerful than the styles commonly associated with hearing aid domes.
Should I use hearing aid domes?
Inevitably, the decision 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 walk you through all the pros and cons related to your personal hearing health.
For some individuals, it may be worth waiting the extra couple of weeks for a custom-fit device. For others, the immediate results of hearing aids you can wear today will create healthy, lifelong hearing habits.
The nice thing is that you’ve got options.