After months (possibly even years) of waiting, you’ve finally decided to give us a call to find out if you should get hearing aids. Like many other people, you’ve been resisting this. But the inconvenience, the lost moments, the missing conversations, they all finally became too much.
So it’s a bit discouraging when you’re at the hearing specialist’s office and you learn that you’re going to need to wait another two weeks for custom fit hearing aids.
That means that you will be losing some of life’s treasured moments for two more weeks. However, there is another option: a deceptively basic device add-on, known as hearing aid domes.
What are hearing aid domes?
Doesn’t that sound sort of epic? Like some kind of arena where hearing aids duel in ancient, mythical combat. Only one hearing aid can emerge victorious from the hearing aid dome.
Well, it’s a bit less thrilling than that. But they are pretty neat. Hearing aid domes are like tiny earbuds that you can put 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. You can use them with both behind-the-ear and in-ear models. Here are the two basic functions:
- They assure that the speaker of the hearing aid is seated in an optimal position in your ear. And they position the speaker so it won’t jiggle around in your ear.
- They can help control the amount of outside sound you hear, particularly when that outside sound can interfere with the functionality of your hearing aid. Hearing aid domes work to enhance the sound clarity and provide an extra bit of control when used correctly.
Those small 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 assist you in doing that.
What is the difference between hearing aid domes?
Most come in open and closed styles, each letting in more or less ambient sound.
Hearing aid domes come in different types, including:
These have openings in the dome that allow more natural sound to pass through and into your ears. This helps your ear process ambient sounds along with the benefit of amplification.
As the name suggests, these domes have fewer openings and stop more ambient sound than open domes do. For people with more profound hearing loss, background noise can be very distracting and this kind of dome can help with that.
Power domes don’t have any holes and completely block external sounds. This means virtually no sound at all can get into the ear canal. These are most effective for very profound hearing loss.
How frequently should you change your hearing aid domes?
Every two to three months will be the ideal schedule for changing your hearing aid domes (your ears can be a bit unclean in there).
Hearing aid domes can usually be worn right out of the box. In fact, that’s one of their biggest benefits.
What are the advantages of hearing aid domes?
Hearing aid domes are prevalent for a wide variety of reasons. Here are a few common advantages:
- No fitting time: Not having to wait is one of the greatest advantages of hearing aid domes. You can put them in and use your hearing aid right away. This is a perfect solution for people who don’t want to wait weeks for custom fit hearing aids. And if you want to try out a hearing aid before you purchase it, they’re good 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.
- The external world sounds more clear and natural: By choosing the best hearing aid dome type, you can ensure that your hearing aids produce a natural overall sound and improved sound clarity. That’s because some sound will still (probably) get through. We can help you determine the type that’s ideal for you.
- You’re able to hear your own voice: Some hearing aid domes are designed to let a natural level of sound get through. So you will still be capable of hearing your own voice. You’ll most likely wear your hearing aids more often if they sound clear and natural.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes are fairly small, particularly when they’re tucked inside your ear. They’re pretty discrete in this way.
And, again, this means many people are more likely to use those hearing aids more often.
What are the 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. Among the most common are the following:
- They can sometimes be uncomfortable: Some people are uncomfortable with the feeling of something filling their ear canal. Some people find this feeling, called “occlusion” by hearing specialist, intensely uncomfortable. Additionally, if you pull your hearing aid dome out too fast (or don’t clean it often enough), there’s the possibility that it might separate from the tubing and get stuck in your ear canal. If this occurs, you’ll most likely need to come see us to have it removed.
- Sometimes, they can cause feedback: Feedback, though not really common, occasionally does occur. For people who are dealing with high frequency hearing loss, this is particularly true.
- Some forms of hearing loss aren’t suitable for hearing aid domes: As an illustration, hearing aid domes won’t be the ideal choice if you have high frequency hearing loss or profound hearing loss. For people with high-frequency hearing loss, once again, it’s the feedback that becomes the problem. For individuals with profound hearing loss, it’s really the hearing aid itself that’s the problem: the kind of hearing aid commonly associated with hearing aid domes is normally not large or powerful enough for this form of hearing loss.
So are hearing aid domes right for me?
It’s largely a personal choice whether you use hearing aid domes. It’s your choice but we can help. And we will look at 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. For others, the quick results of hearing aids you can wear today will build healthy, lifelong hearing habits.
The nice thing is that you have options.