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 other people. But the difficulty of living life without being able to hear has finally become too much.
So when you do finally come in and then you learn that you will still have to wait another couple of weeks before you get your custom fit hearing aids, it can be frustrating.
That means that you will be missing some of life’s precious moments for two more weeks. However, there is another option: a deceptively simple device add-on, known as hearing aid domes.
What are hearing aid domes?
They sound sort of epic, right? Like hearing aids dueling in some kind of ancient mythological arena. Welcome to the Hearing Aid Dome: Two hearing aids enter…but only one leaves!
It’s not really that exciting. But they are rather neat. Hearing aid domes are put on the end of your hearing aid speakers like tiny earbuds. Typically made of plastic or silicone, they fit around that little part that goes in your ear canal, attaching to the tubing of your hearing aid. You can use them with both behind-the-ear and in-ear models. And they basically do two things:
- They guarantee 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 inside of your ear.
- They can help limit the amount of external sound you hear, especially when that external 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. There are multiple hearing aid dome types, so we will help you choose the one that’s best for your situation.
Different types of hearing aid domes
Most come in open and closed types, each letting in more or less ambient sound.
Hearing aid dome types include:
These have openings in the dome that allow more natural sound to pass through and into your ears. You get the advantage of amplification while still being able to process external sounds.
These domes let less outside sound in through fewer and smaller holes. These are better for more pronounced hearing loss where background noise can be distracting.
Power domes have no holes and completely block outside sounds. This means virtually no sound at all can pass into the ear canal. These are most effective for very severe 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 dirty in there).
Hearing aid domes can usually be used right out of the box. That’s one of the best things about them.
What are the benefits of hearing aid domes?
There are a number of reasons why hearing aid domes are prevalent. Here are a few common benefits:
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes are fairly small, especially when they’re tucked into your ear. They’re rather discrete in this way.
- Everything sounds a bit more natural: By selecting the best hearing aid dome type, you can be certain that your hearing aids generate a natural overall sound and improved sound clarity. 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 will help you with this.
- You’re able to hear your own voice: Some hearing aid domes are designed to let a natural level of sound come in. So you will still be capable of hearing your own voice. You’ll most likely use your hearing aids more often if they sound clear and natural.
- 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 ready to go. For individuals who don’t want to wait for custom fit hearing aids, it’s the ideal option. And if you want to try out a hearing aid before you purchase it, they’re good for that too. With hearing aid domes, you don’t have to sacrifice sound clarity to get faster results.
And, once again, this means many people are more likely to wear those hearing aids more often.
Are there drawbacks 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’re not always comfortable: Having something plugging the ear canal can be really unpleasant for some individuals. Hearing specialists call this sensation “occlusion,” and some individuals can find it intensely uncomfortable. In addition, if you take your hearing aid dome out too fast (or don’t clean it frequently enough), there’s the chance that it might separate from the tubing and get stuck in your ear canal. You’ll probably need to come in and see us to have it removed if this happens.
- Sometimes, they can cause feedback: Feedback isn’t necessarily typical, but it does occur. This is especially true for individuals who have high-frequency hearing loss.
- Some types 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 may not be the preferred solution for you. For people with high-frequency hearing loss, once again, it’s the feedback that becomes the issue. It’s the hearing aid itself that’s a problem with profound hearing loss: the type of hearing aid commonly associated with hearing aid domes is usually not large or powerful enough for this form of hearing loss.
So are hearing aid domes right 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 go over your individual needs and help advise you on the pros and cons.
Some individuals may be better off waiting for a custom fitting. Others will build healthy lifelong hearing habits by choosing a solution that allows them to start using their new hearing aids immediately.
You’ve got options and that’s the nice thing.