After months (maybe even years) of waiting, you’ve finally decided to give us a call to see if you need hearing aids. You have been resisting this like so many other people. But the stress of going through life without being able to hear has finally become too much.
So when you do finally come in and then you find out that you will still need to wait another couple of weeks before you get your custom fit hearing aids, it can be discouraging.
That’s another two weeks dealing with those lost moments before you can begin getting them back. However, there is another option: a deceptively basic device add-on, called hearing aid domes.
What are hearing aid domes?
They sound sort of grand, right? Like hearing aids fighting in some kind of ancient mythical arena. Only one hearing aid can come forth victorious from the hearing aid dome.
Well, it’s a bit less exciting than that. They are pretty cool though. Hearing aid domes go on the end of your hearing aid speakers like tiny earbuds. Typically made of plastic or silicone, they fit around that little part that goes in your ear canal, connecting 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 help keep the speaker in place. That way it’s not wiggling around.
- They can help limit the amount of outside sound you hear, particularly when that external sound can impede the function of your hearing aid. When properly used, hearing aid domes offer you a bit of extra control and work to enhance sound clarity.
Domes for hearing aids look kind of like those bulbs at the end of your earbuds. There are multiple hearing aid dome types, so we will help you choose the one that’s best for your needs.
What is the difference between hearing aid domes?
Open types and closed types each let in different levels of background sound.
Hearing aid domes come in different kinds, including:
With these, more sound is able to pass through little holes in the dome. You get the advantage of amplification while still being able to process outside sounds.
As the name implies, these domes have fewer openings and block more ambient sound than open domes can. For people with more profound hearing loss, background noise can be really distracting and this kind of dome can help with that.
Power domes have no holes and completely block external sounds. This means virtually no sound at all can get into the ear canal. These domes will be ideal for individuals with very severe hearing impairment.
Do hearing aid domes need to be changed?
For best results, you should swap out your hearing aid domes every 2-3 months (your ears can be a bit dirty in there).
For most individuals, hearing aid domes can be worn right out of the box. That’s one of the greatest things about them.
How will I benefit by wearing hearing aid buds?
Hearing aid domes are popular for a wide array of reasons. Here are some common advantages:
- No fitting time: One of the most prominent (and immediate) advantages of hearing aid domes is that you don’t have to wait. You can pop them in and wear your hearing aid immediately. For people who don’t want to wait for custom fit hearing aids, it’s the best solution. And if you want to try out a hearing aid before you buy it, they’re great for that too. For patients who want results faster, hearing aid domes can provide a way to achieve that without sacrificing the quality of your sound clarity.
- You can hear your own voice: Some hearing aid domes are created to let a natural level of sound come in. So you will still be capable of hearing your own voice. This makes the clarity of sound seem much more natural, which means you’re more likely to wear your hearing a great deal more often.
- 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.
- Everything sounds a bit more natural: You can be certain your hearing aids produce a clear, natural sound quality by choosing the right type of hearing aid domes. Most likely, some sound will still get through and that’s the reason for this. Again, this depends on the style of dome, and we can help you with this.
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 procedure, there are some downsides and trade-offs to hearing aid domes, trade=offs you’ll want to consider before making a decision. Among the most common are the following:
- They can at times be uncomfortable: Having something plugging the ear canal can be really unpleasant for some individuals. Some individuals find this feeling, called “occlusion” by hearing specialist, extremely uncomfortable. Also, your hearing aid dome can become lodged in your ear if you pull it out too quickly 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 occasionally be more prone to feedback: Feedback isn’t necessarily common, but it does happen. This is particularly true for individuals who are dealing with high-frequency hearing loss.
- Some types of hearing loss aren’t suited for hearing aid domes: As an illustration, hearing aid domes won’t be the best choice if you have high frequency hearing loss or profound hearing loss. For those with high-frequency hearing loss, again, it’s the feedback that becomes the issue. It’s the hearing aid itself that’s an issue with profound hearing loss: the type 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?
Ultimately, the decision of whether you should use hearing aid domes or not is largely a personal one. It’s up to you but we can help. And we will discuss your individual needs and help advise you on the pros and cons.
For some people, it may be worth waiting the extra two weeks for a custom-fit device. For other people, the quick results of hearing aids you can use today will create healthy, lifelong hearing habits.
The good thing is that you’ve got options.