After months (maybe even years) of waiting, you’ve finally resolved to contact us to see if you need hearing aids. You’ve been resisting this like so many others. But the difficulty of going through life without being able to hear has finally become too hard to ignore.
So it’s a little discouraging 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 start getting them back. Of course, there is another alternative: a deceptively basic device add-on, called hearing aid domes.
What are hearing aid domes?
Doesn’t that sound sort of epic? Like hearing aids fighting in some kind of ancient mythological arena. Welcome to the Hearing Aid Dome: Two hearing aids enter…but only one leaves!
It’s not quite that exciting. But they are pretty 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 around the part that goes into your ear canal. They’re made for behind-the-ear or inside-the-ear-canal models of hearing aids. Here are the two general functions:
- They assure that the speaker of the hearing aid is sitting in an ideal position in your ear. And they help secure the speaker in place. That way it’s not wiggling around.
- In some cases, external sound can interfere with 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 enhance the sound quality and provide an extra bit of control when used properly.
Those small bulbs at the end of earbuds are similar to hearing aid domes. There are several hearing aid dome styles, so we will help you choose the one that’s best for your situation.
What is the difference between hearing aid domes?
Most come in open and closed types, each letting in more or less 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 natural 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 can. These are better for more advanced hearing loss where ambient noise can be a distraction.
Power domes totally block the ear canal and have no venting. With these, almost no external sound can get in. These domes will be best for people with extremely severe hearing loss.
Do hearing aid domes need to be swapped out?
Every two to three months will be the best schedule for changing your hearing aid domes (your ears are not the dirtiest place, but they aren’t the cleanest, either).
For most people, hearing aid domes can be worn right out of the box. That’s one of the greatest things about them.
What are the benefits of hearing aid domes?
There are numerous reasons why hearing aid domes are prevalent. The most common benefits include the following:
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes are fairly small, particularly when they’re tucked into your ear. In this way, they can be pretty discrete.
- You can hear your own voice: A natural level of sound can get through some types of hearing aid domes. 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 likely to wear your hearing a great deal more often.
- Everything sounds a little more natural: You can be sure your hearing aids create a clear, natural sound quality by selecting the right type of hearing aid domes. Most likely, some sound will still get through and that’s the reason for this. Once again, this depends on the type of dome, and we will help you with this.
- 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. This is an ideal solution for individuals who don’t want to wait weeks for custom fit hearing aids. It’s also good for people 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 achieve that without sacrificing 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?
As with any hearing device or medical procedure, there are some drawbacks and trade-offs to hearing aid domes, trade=offs you’ll want to consider before making a decision. Among the most prevalent are the following:
- They can at times be uncomfortable: Having something filling the ear canal can be very unpleasant for some people. Hearing specialists call this sensation “occlusion,” and some individuals can find it intensely unpleasant. In addition, 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 happens, you’ll likely need to come see us to get it removed.
- They can sometimes be more prone to feedback: Feedback isn’t necessarily typical, but it does occur. For individuals who are dealing with high frequency hearing loss, this is especially true.
- Not ideal for all types of hearing loss: For example, if you have profound hearing loss or high frequency hearing loss, hearing aid domes might not be the preferred solution for you. Once again, the feedback can become an issue with high frequency hearing loss. For people with profound hearing loss, it’s really the hearing aid itself that’s the issue: the kind of hearing aid typically associated with hearing aid domes is usually not large or powerful enough for this kind of hearing loss.
Should I get hearing aid domes?
It’s largely a personal decision whether you use hearing aid domes. 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 unique hearing health.
Some people may be better off 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 immediately.
You have options and that’s the good thing.