After months (possibly even years) of waiting, you’ve finally decided to contact us to find out if you should get hearing aids. Like many other people, you’ve been resisting this. But the hassle, the lost moments, the missing conversations, they all finally became too hard to ignore.
So when you do finally come in and then you learn that you will still need to wait another couple of weeks before you obtain your custom fit hearing aids, it can be disheartening.
That means that you will be missing some of life’s precious moments for two more weeks. 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 some kind of arena where hearing aids duel in ancient, mythical combat. Only one hearing aid can come forth victorious from the hearing aid dome.
Well, it’s a little less exciting than that. But they are rather neat. Hearing aid domes are like tiny earbuds that you can place on the end of your hearing aid speaker. Generally made of plastic or silicone, they fit over that little bit that goes inside your ear canal, attaching to the tubing of your hearing aid. You can use them on both behind-the-ear and in-ear models. Here are the two general 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 outside sound you hear, especially when that external sound can interfere with the function of your hearing aid. When properly used, hearing aid domes provide you with a bit of extra control and work to improve sound clarity.
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 best for you from a number of kinds, and we can help you do that.
What is the difference between hearing aid domes?
Open types and closed types each let in different amounts of background sound.
Hearing aid dome models include:
These have openings in the dome that allow more natural sound to get through and into your ears. You get the benefit of amplification while still being able to process outside sounds.
As the name indicates, these domes have fewer holes and block more ambient sound than open domes do. These are better for more advanced hearing loss where ambient noise can be a distraction.
Power domes totally block the ear canal and have no venting. This means virtually no sound at all can get into the ear canal. These are most practical for very profound hearing loss.
Do hearing aid domes need to be swapped out?
Every two to three months will be the ideal schedule for changing your hearing aid domes (your ears can be a bit dirty in there).
For most people, hearing aid domes can be used 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 popular for a wide array of reasons. Here are some prevailing advantages:
- No fitting time: Not needing 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 ideal option. It’s also great for people who want to demo their hearing aids before they buy them. With hearing aid domes, patients don’t need to sacrifice sound clarity to get faster results.
- 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 pretty discrete.
- Everything sounds a bit more natural: You can be certain your hearing aids produce a clear, natural sound quality by picking the right type of hearing aid domes. That’s because some sound will still (likely) get through. We can help you determine the kind that’s best for you.
- You’re able to hear your own voice: Some hearing aid domes are designed to let a natural level of sound come in. This means you can still hear your own voice as you normally would. This makes the clarity of sound seem much more natural, which means you’re likely to wear your hearing a great deal more often.
And, again, this means many people are more likely to wear those hearing aids more often.
What are the drawbacks to hearing aid domes?
You’ll want to be mindful of some of the downsides and trade-offs that come with hearing aid domes. Here are a few of the most common:
- They can sometimes be uncomfortable: Some people don’t like the feeling of something blocking their ear canal. Hearing specialists call this feeling “occlusion,” and some people can find it extremely unpleasant. In addition, if you take your hearing aid dome out too quickly (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 occurs, you’ll most likely need to come see us to get it removed.
- They can sometimes be more prone to feedback: Feedback, though not very common, occasionally does happen. For individuals who are dealing with high frequency hearing loss, this is particularly true.
- Not ideal for all forms 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 best option for you. Once again, the feedback can become an issue with high frequency hearing loss. For individuals with profound hearing loss, it’s really the hearing aid itself that’s the issue: the kind of hearing aid typically associated with hearing aid domes is normally not large or powerful enough for this form of hearing loss.
Should I use hearing aid domes?
It’s largely a personal choice whether you use hearing aid domes. We can help but it’s your choice. And we will be able to help you understand all the pros and cons related to your unique hearing health.
Some individuals might do better waiting for a custom fitting. For other people, the quick results of hearing aids you can use today will create healthy, lifelong hearing habits.
The good thing is that you have options.