You’ve been putting off 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 going through 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 couple of weeks for custom fit hearing aids.
That means that you will be losing some of life’s precious 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 epic, right? Like some kind of arena where hearing aids duel in ancient, mythological combat. Welcome to the Hearing Aid Dome: Two hearing aids enter…but only one leaves!
Well, it’s a little less thrilling than that. They are pretty cool though. Hearing aid domes are put on the end of your hearing aid speakers like small earbuds. Usually made out of silicone or plastic, they attach to the tubing of your hearing aid and fit around the part that goes into your ear canal. You can use them on both behind-the-ear and in-ear models. And they basically do two things:
- They position the hearing aid speaker (the part that you listen to) in an ideal position within your ear canal. And they help secure the speaker in place. That way it’s not wiggling around.
- They can help limit the amount of external sound you hear, especially when that outside sound can interfere with the functionality of your hearing aid. Hearing aid domes work to enhance the sound clarity and offer an extra bit of control when used properly.
Domes for hearing aids look sort of like those bulbs at the end of your earbuds. You will have to choose the hearing aid dome that’s ideal for you from several kinds, and we can assist you in doing that.
Different types of hearing aid domes
Open types and closed types each let in different levels of background sound.
Hearing aid dome models include:
These have holes in the dome that allow more outside 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 indicates, these domes have fewer holes and stop more ambient sound than open domes can. For people with more profound hearing loss, background noise can be very distracting and this kind of dome can help with that.
Power domes totally block the ear canal and have no holes. With these, nearly no external sound can get in. 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 unclean in there).
Hearing aid domes can usually be worn right out of the box. That’s one of the best things about them.
How will I benefit by using hearing aid buds?
Hearing aid domes are prevalent for a wide array of reasons. The most widespread benefits include the following:
- No fitting time: Not having to wait is one of the best benefits of hearing aid domes. You can put them in and wear your hearing aid right away. For individuals who don’t want to wait for custom fit hearing aids, it’s the best option. It’s also good for individuals who want to try out their hearing aids before they purchase them. With hearing aid domes, patients don’t have to sacrifice sound clarity to get faster results.
- You can hear your own voice: Some hearing aid domes are designed to let a natural level of sound get through. This means you can still hear your own voice as you normally would. This makes the clarity of sound feel a lot more natural, which means you’re likely to wear your hearing a great deal more often.
- The external world sounds more clear and natural: By selecting the correct hearing aid dome type, you can guarantee that your hearing aids produce a natural overall sound and enhanced sound clarity. More than likely, some sound will still get in and that’s the reason for this. We can help you determine the kind that’s best for you.
- 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.
And again, this will mean you’re not as likely to leave your hearing aid sitting in a drawer.
Are there 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 common:
- They aren’t always comfortable: Some people are uncomfortable with the feeling of something filling their ear canal. Some people find this sensation, called “occlusion” by hearing specialist, intensely uncomfortable. Additionally, if you pull your hearing aid dome out too fast (or don’t clean it frequently enough), there’s the possibility that it may separate from the tubing and get stuck in your ear canal. If this happens, you’ll most likely need to come see us to have it removed.
- They can sometimes be more prone to feedback: Feedback isn’t necessarily common, but it can happen. For individuals who are dealing with high frequency hearing loss, this is particularly true.
- 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 might not be the best solution for you. For those with high-frequency hearing loss, again, it’s the feedback that becomes the problem. For those who have profound hearing loss, it’s really the hearing aid itself that’s the problem: the type of hearing aid typically associated with hearing aid domes is normally not large or powerful enough for this type of hearing loss.
Should I get 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 discuss your specific needs and help advise you on the pros and cons.
Some people might be better off waiting for a custom fitting. For others, the quick results of hearing aids you can wear today will create healthy, lifelong hearing habits.
The good thing is that you’ve got options.