You’ve been putting off calling us to see if you need hearing aids, but you’ve finally decided it’s time. Like many, you’ve been resisting this. But the difficulty of going through life without being able to hear has finally become too hard to ignore.
So when you do finally come in and then you learn that you will still have to wait another two weeks before you obtain your custom fit hearing aids, it can be disheartening.
That means that you will be missing some of life’s treasured moments for two more weeks. But you could try a basic little device add on called a hearing aid dome instead.
What exactly is a hearing aid dome?
Doesn’t that sound kind of epic? Like hearing aids dueling in some type of ancient mythological arena. Welcome to the Hearing Aid Dome: Two hearing aids enter…but only one leaves!
It’s not really that exciting. They are pretty cool though. Hearing aid domes are like little earbuds that you can place at the end of your hearing aid speaker. Usually made out of silicone or plastic, they attach to the tubing of your hearing aid and fit around the part that goes in your ear canal. You can use them on both behind-the-ear and in-ear models. And they generally do two things:
- They situate the hearing aid speaker (the bit that you listen to) in an optimal position within your ear canal. And they secure the speaker so it won’t jiggle around in your ear.
- They can help limit the amount of external sound you hear, particularly when that external sound can interfere with the function of your hearing aid. When properly used, hearing aid domes give you a bit of extra control and work to improve sound quality.
Those small bulbs at the end of earbuds are similar to hearing aid domes. There are multiple hearing aid dome styles, so we will help you choose the one that’s best for your needs.
Different types of hearing aid domes
Most come in open and closed designs, each letting in more or less background sound.
Hearing aid dome models include:
These have holes 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.
As the name suggests, these domes have fewer holes and block more ambient sound than open domes can. For individuals with more significant hearing loss, background noise can be really distracting and this type of dome can help with that.
Power domes totally block the ear canal and have no venting. This means very little to no sound at all can get into the ear canal. These domes will be ideal for people with extremely severe hearing loss.
Do hearing aid domes need to be swapped out?
Every two to three months will be the best schedule for changing your hearing aid domes (your ears aren’t the dirtiest place, but they aren’t the cleanest, either).
For most people, hearing aid domes can be used right out of the box. In fact, that’s one of their biggest advantages.
What are the advantages of hearing aid domes?
There are numerous reasons why hearing aid domes are prevalent. 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 un-box them, pop them on your hearing aid and you’re good to go. For individuals who don’t want to wait for custom fit hearing aids, it’s the best solution. It’s also good for individuals who want to try out their hearing aids before they purchase them. For patients who want faster results, hearing aid domes can provide a way to achieve that without compromising the quality of your sound clarity.
- The external world sounds more clear and natural: You can be certain your hearing aids produce a clear, natural sound quality by choosing the right type of hearing aid domes. That’s because some sound will still (likely) get through. We can help you identify the type that’s ideal for you.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes are pretty small, especially when they’re tucked into your ear. They’re pretty discrete in this way.
- You’re able to hear your own voice: A natural amount of sound can get through some models of hearing aid domes. So you will still be capable of hearing your own voice. You’re more likely to wear your hearing aids more often if they sound clear and natural.
And, once again, this means many people are more likely to wear those hearing aids more often.
Are there drawbacks to hearing aid domes?
As with any hearing device or medical procedure, there are some drawbacks and trade-offs to hearing aid domes, trade=offs you’ll want to think about before deciding. Among the most prevalent are the following:
- They’re not always comfortable: Some people are uncomfortable with the feeling of something blocking their ear canal. Hearing specialists call this sensation “occlusion,” and some people can find it intensely uncomfortable. Also, your hearing aid dome can get lodged in your ear if you pull it out too quickly or if you don’t keep it clean. You’ll most likely need to come in and see us to have it removed if this happens.
- They can occasionally be more prone to feedback: Feedback isn’t necessarily typical, but it does happen. This is particularly true for people who are dealing with high-frequency hearing loss.
- Not ideal for all types of hearing loss: As an example, hearing aid domes won’t be the ideal choice if you have high frequency hearing loss or profound hearing loss. For those with high-frequency hearing loss, once 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 has more power than the types commonly associated with hearing aid domes.
Should I get hearing aid domes?
It’s mostly a personal choice whether you use hearing aid domes. It’s up to you but we can help. And we will look at your specific needs and help advise you on the pros and cons.
Some people might do better waiting for a custom fitting. Others will build healthy lifelong hearing habits by opting for a solution that allows them to begin using their new hearing aids immediately.
The nice thing is that you’ve got options.