After months (maybe even years) of waiting, you’ve finally resolved 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 conversations, they all finally became too much.
So when you do finally come in and then you learn that you will still need 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. Of course, there is another alternative: a deceptively simple device add-on, called hearing aid domes.
What are hearing aid domes?
Doesn’t that sound kind of epic? Like hearing aids dueling in some kind of ancient mythological arena. Welcome to the Hearing Aid Dome: Two hearing aids enter…but only one leaves!
Well, it’s a bit less thrilling than that. But they are rather neat. Hearing aid domes are put on the end of your hearing aid speakers like tiny earbuds. Usually made out of silicone or plastic, they connect to the tubing of your hearing aid and fit around the part that goes in your ear canal. They’re made for both behind-the-ear or inside-the-ear-canal style hearing aids. Here are the two basic functions:
- They guarantee that the speaker of the hearing aid is sitting in an ideal position in your ear. And they help keep the speaker in place. That way it’s not wiggling around.
- Sometimes, outside sound can interfere with 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 provide you with a bit of extra control and work to improve sound clarity.
Domes for hearing aids look kind of like those bulbs at the end of your earbuds. You will have to choose 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 amounts of background sound.
Hearing aid domes come in different kinds, including:
These have holes in the dome that allow more natural sound to pass through and into your ears. You get the advantage of amplification while still being able to process external sounds.
As the name suggests, these domes have fewer holes and stop more ambient sound than open domes can. For people with more severe hearing loss, ambient noise can be quite distracting and this type of dome can help with that.
Power domes don’t have any holes and completely block outside 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.
How frequently should you change your hearing aid domes?
For best results, you should change your hearing aid domes every 2-3 months (your ears can be a bit unclean in there).
For most people, hearing aid domes can be worn right out of the box. In fact, that’s one of their biggest benefits.
How will I benefit by wearing hearing aid buds?
Hearing aid domes are popular for a wide variety of reasons. The most common benefits include the following:
- The outside world sounds more clear and natural: You can be sure your hearing aids produce a clear, natural sound quality by selecting the right type of hearing aid domes. More than likely, some sound will still get in and that’s the reason for this. Again, this depends on the type of dome, and we will help you with this.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes are pretty small, especially when they’re tucked inside your ear. They’re rather discrete in this way.
- You’re able to hear your own voice: A natural amount of sound can get through some models of hearing aid domes. So you will still be able to hear your own voice. You’re more likely to use your hearing aids more if they sound clear and natural.
- 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 good to go. This is a perfect solution for individuals who don’t want to wait weeks for custom fit hearing aids. It’s also great for individuals who want to try out their hearing aids before they buy 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 means many people are more likely to use those hearing aids more often.
Are there drawbacks to hearing aid domes?
You’ll want to be aware of some of the downsides and trade-offs that come with hearing aid domes. Here are a few of the most prevalent:
- They’re not always comfortable: Some individuals don’t like the feeling of something blocking their ear canal. Hearing specialists call this sensation “occlusion,” and some individuals can find it extremely uncomfortable. Additionally, if you pull your hearing aid dome out too quickly (or don’t clean it often enough), there’s the chance 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 have it removed if this happens.
- Sometimes, they can cause feedback: Feedback, though not that common, occasionally does occur. This is especially true for people who have high-frequency hearing loss.
- Some forms of hearing loss aren’t suitable for hearing aid domes: For instance, if you have profound hearing loss or high frequency hearing loss, hearing aid domes may not be the preferred solution for you. For people with high-frequency hearing loss, 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 bigger and which has more power than the styles typically associated with hearing aid domes.
So are hearing aid domes for me?
Inevitably, the choice of whether you should use hearing aid domes or not is mostly a personal one. We can help but it’s your choice. And we will discuss your specific needs and help advise you on the pros and cons.
For some individuals, it may be worth waiting the extra two weeks for a custom-fit device. Others will build healthy lifelong hearing habits by opting for a solution that lets them start using their new hearing aids immediately.
The nice thing is that you have options.