You’ve been avoiding calling us to see if you need hearing aids, but you’ve finally decided it’s time. You have been resisting this like so many others. But the stress of living life without being able to hear has finally become too much.
So it’s a little discouraging when you’re at the hearing specialist’s office and you find out that you’re going to have to wait another two weeks for custom fit hearing aids.
That means that you will be missing some of life’s treasured moments for two more weeks. But you could try a simple little device add on known as a hearing aid dome instead.
What exactly is a hearing aid dome?
They sound kind of grand, right? Like hearing aids dueling in some type of ancient mythological arena. Only one hearing aid can come forth victorious from the hearing aid dome.
Well, it’s a little less exciting than that. They are pretty cool though. Hearing aid domes are like tiny earbuds that you can place at 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 into your ear canal. They’re made for behind-the-ear or inside-the-ear-canal models of hearing aids. Here are the two basic functions:
- They position the hearing aid speaker (the part that you listen to) in the most effective position inside of your ear canal. And they help keep the speaker in place. That way it’s not moving around.
- They can help limit the amount of external sound you hear, especially when that outside sound can interfere with the function of your hearing aid. When properly used, hearing aid domes offer you a bit of extra control and work to enhance sound quality.
Those little bulbs at the end of earbuds are similar to hearing aid domes. You will have to select the hearing aid dome that’s ideal for you from several types, and we can help you do that.
Different types of hearing aid domes
Open types and closed types each let in different levels of background sound.
Hearing aid dome types include:
These have openings in the dome that allow more natural sound to get through and into your ears. This helps your ear process ambient sounds along with the advantage of amplification.
As the name implies, these domes have fewer openings and stop more ambient sound than open domes can. These are better for more pronounced hearing loss where ambient noise can be a distraction.
Power domes completely block the ear canal and have no holes. With these, nearly no outside sound can get in. These are most effective for extremely profound hearing loss.
How often should you change your hearing aid domes?
For best effect, you should swap out your hearing aid domes every 2-3 months (your ears can be a bit unclean in there).
Hearing aid domes can usually be used right out of the box. As a matter of fact, that’s one of their primary advantages.
How will I benefit by wearing hearing aid buds?
There are a number of reasons why hearing aid domes are popular. The most common advantages include the following:
- The external world sounds more clear and natural: You can be sure your hearing aids produce a clear, natural sound quality by picking the right type of hearing aid domes. Most likely, some sound will still get in and that’s the reason for this. Once again, this depends on the type of dome, and we can help you with this.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes are pretty small, especially when they’re tucked into your ear. In this way, they can be rather discrete.
- No fitting time: One of the most prominent (and immediate) advantages of hearing aid domes is that you don’t need to wait. You can un-box them, pop them on your hearing aid and you’re good to go. This is an ideal option for people 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. With hearing aid domes, you don’t need to sacrifice sound clarity to get faster results.
- 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 capable of hearing your own voice. This makes the clarity of sound feel a lot more natural, which means you’re more likely to wear your hearing a great deal more often.
And again, this will mean you’re less likely to leave your hearing aid sitting on your nightstand.
Are there 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 sometimes be uncomfortable: Having something plugging the ear canal can be really uncomfortable for some people. Hearing specialists call this sensation “occlusion,” and some individuals can find it intensely unpleasant. Additionally, if you take your hearing aid dome out too quickly (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. If this happens, you’ll likely need to come see us to have it removed.
- They can occasionally be more prone to feedback: Feedback, though not that common, occasionally does occur. This is especially true for individuals who are dealing with high-frequency hearing loss.
- Not suitable for all forms of hearing loss: For example, if you are suffering from profound hearing loss or high frequency hearing loss, hearing aid domes might not be the best solution for you. 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 type 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 for me?
It’s largely a personal decision whether you use hearing aid domes. We can help but it’s your choice. And we will look at your specific needs and help advise you on the pros and cons.
For some individuals, it might be worth waiting the extra couple of weeks for a custom-fit device. Others will create healthy lifelong hearing habits by opting for a solution that lets them start using their new hearing aids immediately.
The good thing is that you’ve got options.