After months (maybe even years) of waiting, you’ve finally decided to contact us to find out if you need hearing aids. Like many, you’ve been resisting this. But the hassle, the lost moments, the missing interactions, they all finally became too hard to ignore.
So when you do finally come in and then you find out 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 losing some of life’s precious moments for two more weeks. Of course, there is another option: a deceptively basic device add-on, known as hearing aid domes.
What exactly is a hearing aid dome?
Doesn’t that sound sort 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. But they are pretty neat. Hearing aid domes are like tiny earbuds that you can place at 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 on both behind-the-ear and in-ear models. Here are the two basic functions:
- They situate the hearing aid speaker (the bit that you listen to) in an optimal position inside of your ear canal. And they help keep the speaker in place. That way it’s not moving around.
- They can help control the amount of external sound you hear, particularly when that outside sound can impede the functionality of your hearing aid. When properly used, hearing aid domes give you a bit of extra control and work to improve sound quality.
Those little 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.
What is the difference between hearing aid domes?
Open types and closed types each let in different levels of ambient sound.
Hearing aid domes come in different types, including:
With these, more sound is able to pass through little holes in the dome. This helps your ear process natural sounds along with the advantage of amplification.
As the name indicates, these domes have fewer openings and stop more ambient sound than open domes can. For people with more severe hearing loss, ambient noise can be quite distracting and this kind of dome can help with that.
Power domes completely block the ear canal and have no venting. This means virtually no sound at all can get into the ear canal. These domes will be best for people with extremely severe hearing impairment.
Do hearing aid domes need to be changed?
For best results, you should swap out your hearing aid domes every 2-3 months (your ears aren’t 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 using hearing aid buds?
Hearing aid domes are prevalent for a wide variety of reasons. The most common advantages include the following:
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes aren’t that big, especially when they’re in your ear. They’re pretty discrete in this way.
- You can hear your own voice: A natural level of sound can get through some types of hearing aid domes. So you will still be able to hear your own voice. This makes the clarity of sound feel a lot more natural, which means you’re likely to use your hearing aids far more often.
- No fitting time: Not needing to wait is one of the best advantages of hearing aid domes. You can put them in and wear your hearing aid right away. This is a perfect solution for individuals who don’t want to wait weeks for custom fit hearing aids. It’s also good for people who want to demo their hearing aids before they purchase them. With hearing aid domes, you don’t have to sacrifice sound clarity to get faster results.
- The external world sounds more clear and natural: By finding the correct hearing aid dome type, you can ensure that your hearing aids generate a natural overall sound and enhanced sound clarity. That’s because some sound will still (probably) get through. We can help you determine the type that’s best for you.
And again, this will mean you’re less likely to leave your hearing aid sitting in a drawer.
Are there downsides 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 consider before making a decision. Among the most common are the following:
- They’re not always comfortable: Some people are uncomfortable with the feeling of something blocking their ear canal. Some individuals find this sensation, called “occlusion” by hearing specialist, extremely 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. 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 isn’t necessarily common, but it does happen. This is particularly true for individuals who are dealing with high-frequency hearing loss.
- Some types of hearing loss aren’t suited for hearing aid domes: For example, if you are suffering from profound hearing loss or high frequency hearing loss, hearing aid domes might not be the best option for you. For those 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 larger and which has more power than the types typically associated with hearing aid domes.
So are hearing aid domes for me?
Inevitably, the choice of whether you should use hearing aid domes or not is mostly a personal one. It’s up to you but we can help. And we will look at your individual 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. For others, the quick results of hearing aids you can wear today will create healthy, lifelong hearing habits.
The good thing is that you’ve got options.