You’ve been avoiding calling us to find out if you need hearing aids, but you’ve finally decided it’s time. You have been resisting this like so many other people. But the inconvenience, the lost moments, the missing interactions, they all finally became too hard to ignore.
So it’s a little frustrating when you’re at the hearing specialist’s office and you find out that you’re going to need 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. Of course, there is another option: a deceptively basic device add-on, known as hearing aid domes.
What exactly is a hearing aid dome?
They sound sort of epic, right? Like hearing aids dueling in some type of ancient mythological arena. Only one hearing aid can emerge victorious from the hearing aid dome.
It’s not quite that exciting. But they are rather neat. Hearing aid domes are put on the end of your hearing aid speakers like little earbuds. Typically made of plastic or silicone, they fit over that little part that goes in your ear canal, attaching to the tubing of your hearing aid. They’re made for both behind-the-ear or inside-the-ear-canal models of hearing aids. And they basically do two things:
- They situate the hearing aid speaker (the part that you listen to) in an optimal position inside of your ear canal. And they help keep the speaker in place. That way it’s not moving around.
- On occasion, outside sound can impede 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 improve the sound clarity and provide an extra bit of control when used properly.
Those small bulbs at the end of earbuds are similar to hearing aid domes. You will have to choose the hearing aid dome that’s ideal for you from a number of types, 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 ambient sound.
Hearing aid domes come in different kinds, including:
With these, more sound is capable of passing through little holes in the dome. This helps your ear process ambient sounds while still getting the benefit of amplification.
These domes let less outside sound in through fewer and smaller holes. These are better for more advanced hearing loss where ambient noise can be a distraction.
Power domes completely block the ear canal and have no venting. With these, nearly no external sound can get in. These domes will be ideal for people with very severe hearing impairment.
Do hearing aid domes need to be swapped out?
For best results, you should swap out your hearing aid domes every 2-3 months (your ears can be a bit dirty in there).
Hearing aid domes can usually be used right out of the box. That’s one of the greatest things about them.
What are the advantages of hearing aid domes?
There are numerous reasons why hearing aid domes are prevalent. Here are a few prevailing benefits:
- You can hear your own voice: Some hearing aid domes are created to let a natural level of sound come in. So you will still be capable of hearing your own voice. This makes the clarity of sound feel much more natural, which means you’re more likely to use your hearing aids far more often.
- Everything sounds a bit more natural: By finding the correct hearing aid dome type, you can guarantee that your hearing aids produce a natural overall sound and improved sound clarity. That’s because some sound will still (likely) get through. Once again, this depends on the style of dome, and we will help you with this.
- No fitting time: Not needing to wait is one of the greatest advantages of hearing aid domes. 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. And if you want to try out a hearing aid before you buy it, they’re great for that too. With hearing aid domes, you don’t have to sacrifice sound clarity to get faster results.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes are pretty small, particularly when they’re tucked into 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.
Are there downsides to hearing aid domes?
You’ll want to be mindful of some of the drawbacks and trade-offs that come with hearing aid domes. Among the most common are the following:
- They aren’t always comfortable: Having something filling the ear canal can be very uncomfortable for some people. Hearing specialists call this feeling “occlusion,” and some people can find it extremely unpleasant. Additionally, if you pull your hearing aid dome out too fast (or don’t clean it frequently enough), there’s the possibility that it might separate from the tubing and get lodged in your ear canal. You’ll most likely need to come in and see us to get it removed if this happens.
- Sometimes, they can cause feedback: Feedback isn’t necessarily typical, but it can occur. For people who are dealing with high frequency hearing loss, this is particularly true.
- Not ideal for all types of hearing loss: For example, if you are suffering from profound hearing loss or high frequency hearing loss, hearing aid domes may not be the preferred solution for you. Once again, the feedback can become an issue with high frequency hearing loss. For people who have profound hearing loss, it’s really the hearing aid itself that’s the problem: you’ll require something that’s larger and which is more powerful than the types commonly associated with hearing aid domes.
So are hearing aid domes for me?
Ultimately, the choice of whether you should use hearing aid domes or not is largely a personal one. We can help but it’s your choice. And we will be able to help you understand all the pros and cons pertaining to your personal hearing health.
For some people, it might be worth waiting the extra couple of weeks for a custom-fit device. For other people, the quick results of hearing aids you can wear today will create healthy, lifelong hearing habits.
You’ve got options and that’s the good thing.