You’ve been putting off 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 others. But the stress of living life without being able to hear has finally become too much.
So it’s a bit frustrating when you’re at the hearing specialist’s office and you learn that you’re going to have to wait another two weeks for custom fit hearing aids.
That means that you will be losing some of life’s precious moments for two more weeks. However, there is another alternative: a deceptively simple device add-on, known as hearing aid domes.
What are hearing aid domes?
They sound sort of grand, right? Like hearing aids fighting in some kind of ancient mythical arena. Only one hearing aid can come forth victorious from the hearing aid dome.
It’s not quite that exciting. But they are pretty neat. Hearing aid domes are like little earbuds that you can put at the end of your hearing aid speaker. Usually made of silicone or plastic, they connect to the tubing of your hearing aid and fit on the part that goes into your ear canal. 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 within your ear canal. And they help keep the speaker in place. That way it’s not moving around.
- In some cases, external sound can interfere with the sound of your hearing aid and hearing aid domes help stop that by controlling the amount of outside sound. 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 a lot like hearing aid domes. You will have to select the hearing aid dome that’s best for you from several types, 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 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 outside sounds.
As the name implies, these domes have fewer openings and block more ambient sound than open domes can. These are better for more pronounced hearing loss where ambient noise can be distracting.
Power domes don’t have any holes and totally block outside sounds. This means virtually no sound at all can get into the ear canal. These are most effective for extremely severe hearing loss.
How often should you change your hearing aid domes?
Every two to three months will be the best schedule for changing your hearing aid domes (your ears are not the dirtiest place, but they aren’t the cleanest, either).
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 wearing hearing aid buds?
Hearing aid domes are popular for a wide array of reasons. Here are a few prevailing advantages:
- No fitting time: One of the most popular (and immediate) benefits 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 best solution. It’s also great for individuals who want to try out their hearing aids before they buy them. For patients who want results faster, hearing aid domes can provide a way to accomplish that without compromising the quality of your sound clarity.
- The outside world sounds more clear and natural: By selecting the best hearing aid dome type, you can ensure that your hearing aids produce a natural overall sound and enhanced sound clarity. That’s because some sound will still (likely) get through. Once again, this depends on the style of dome, and we can help you with this.
- You’re able to hear your own voice: Some hearing aid domes are created 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 feel much more natural, which means you’re more likely to wear your hearing aids far more often.
- 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 less likely to leave your hearing aid sitting in a drawer.
What are the 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. Here are a few of the most common:
- They aren’t always comfortable: Having something filling the ear canal can be really unpleasant for some people. Hearing specialists call this feeling “occlusion,” and some people can find it intensely unpleasant. Also, your hearing aid dome can get stuck in your ear if you pull it out too quickly or if you don’t keep it clean. If this occurs, you’ll likely need to come see us to have it removed.
- Sometimes, they can cause feedback: Feedback isn’t necessarily typical, but it can 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 have profound hearing loss or high frequency hearing loss, hearing aid domes may not be the preferred option for you. For people with high-frequency hearing loss, again, it’s the feedback that becomes the problem. It’s the hearing aid itself that’s a problem with profound hearing loss: you’ll need something that’s bigger and which is more powerful than the types commonly associated with hearing aid domes.
So are hearing aid domes right for me?
Ultimately, the decision 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 look at your specific needs and help advise you on the pros and cons.
For some individuals, it might be worth waiting the extra two weeks for a custom-fit device. Others will build healthy lifelong hearing habits by opting for a solution that allows them to begin using their new hearing aids right away.
You’ve got options and that’s the nice thing.