After months (maybe even years) of waiting, you’ve finally resolved to contact us to see if you should get hearing aids. You’ve been resisting this like so many others. But the difficulty of going through life without being able to hear has finally become too much.
So it’s a little discouraging when you’re at the hearing specialist’s office and you find out that you’re going to have 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. But you could try a basic little device add on called a hearing aid dome instead.
What exactly is a hearing aid dome?
They sound sort of grand, right? Like some kind of arena where hearing aids duel in ancient, mythological combat. Welcome to the Hearing Aid Dome: Two hearing aids enter…but only one leaves!
It’s not really that exciting. They are rather cool though. Hearing aid domes are like little earbuds that you can put on the end of your hearing aid speaker. Usually made of silicone or plastic, they attach to the tubing of your hearing aid and fit around the part that goes inside of your ear canal. You can use them with both behind-the-ear and in-ear models. And they generally do two things:
- They assure that the speaker of the hearing aid is seated in an optimal position in your ear. And they help keep the speaker in place. That way it’s not wiggling around.
- On occasion, outside sound can impede 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 quality and offer an extra bit of control when used properly.
Those small bulbs at the end of earbuds are a lot like hearing aid domes. There are several hearing aid dome styles, so we will help you select the one that’s best for your needs.
Different types of hearing aid domes
Open types and closed types each let in different levels of background sound.
Hearing aid dome types include:
These have openings in the dome that allow more outside sound to pass through and into your ears. This helps your ear process natural sounds along with the benefit of amplification.
These domes let less outside sound in through fewer and smaller holes. For individuals with more profound hearing loss, ambient noise can be quite 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 best for people with very severe 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 are not the dirtiest place, but they aren’t the cleanest, either).
For most individuals, hearing aid domes can be worn right out of the box. That’s one of the greatest things about them.
What are the benefits of hearing aid domes?
Hearing aid domes are prevalent for a wide array of reasons. Here are a few common benefits:
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes are fairly small, especially when they’re tucked inside your ear. In this way, they can be rather discrete.
- You can hear your own voice: A natural level of sound can get through some models of hearing aid domes. This means you will still be able to hear your own voice as you naturally would. This makes the clarity of sound feel a lot more natural, which means you’re more likely to wear your hearing a great deal more often.
- The outside world sounds more clear and natural: By selecting the best hearing aid dome type, you can be certain that your hearing aids produce a natural overall sound and improved sound clarity. That’s because some sound will still (likely) get in. Once again, this depends on the type 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 put them in and wear your hearing aid right away. This is a perfect option for people who don’t want to wait weeks for custom fit hearing aids. It’s also great for individuals who want to try out their hearing aids before they purchase them. For people who want results faster, hearing aid domes can provide a way to accomplish that without compromising the quality of your sound clarity.
And, once again, this means many people are more likely to wear those hearing aids more often.
Are there downsides to hearing aid domes?
As with any hearing device or medical treatment, there are some drawbacks and trade-offs to hearing aid domes, trade=offs you’ll want to think about before making a decision. Here are a few of the most common:
- They’re not always comfortable: Having something plugging the ear canal can be really uncomfortable for some individuals. Hearing specialists call this feeling “occlusion,” and some people can find it intensely unpleasant. Also, your hearing aid dome can get lodged in your ear if you pull it out too fast or if you don’t keep it clean. If this occurs, you’ll most likely need to come see us to have it removed.
- They can occasionally be more prone to feedback: Feedback isn’t necessarily common, but it can occur. For people who have high frequency hearing loss, this is particularly true.
- Some forms of hearing loss aren’t suitable for hearing aid domes: As an example, hearing aid domes won’t be the best choice if you have high frequency hearing loss or profound hearing loss. For people with high-frequency hearing loss, once again, it’s the feedback that becomes the problem. For those who have profound hearing loss, it’s really the hearing aid itself that’s the issue: you’ll require something that’s bigger and which has more power than the types typically associated with hearing aid domes.
So are hearing aid domes right for me?
It’s mostly a personal choice whether you use hearing aid domes. It’s up to you but we can help. And we will be able to walk you through all the pros and cons related to your unique hearing health.
Some individuals might do better waiting for a custom fitting. For others, the immediate results of hearing aids you can wear today will create healthy, lifelong hearing habits.
The nice thing is that you’ve got options.