After months (possibly even years) of waiting, you’ve finally resolved to give us a call to see if you need hearing aids. You have been resisting this like so many others. But the difficulty of living 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 need to wait another two weeks before you get your custom fit hearing aids, it can be discouraging.
That’s another two weeks coping with those lost moments before you can begin getting them back. But you could try a simple little device add on called a hearing aid dome instead.
What exactly is a hearing aid dome?
They sound sort of epic, right? Like some type of arena where hearing aids duel in ancient, mythical combat. 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 go on the end of your hearing aid speakers like small earbuds. Usually made out of silicone or plastic, they connect to the tubing of your hearing aid and fit on the part that goes in your ear canal. They’re made for both behind-the-ear or inside-the-ear-canal models of hearing aids. 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 help secure the speaker in place. That way it’s not wiggling around.
- They can help control 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 improve the sound clarity and offer an extra bit of control when used correctly.
Those little bulbs at the end of earbuds are a lot like hearing aid domes. You will have to choose the hearing aid dome that’s best for you from several types, and we can assist you in doing that.
What is the difference between hearing aid domes?
Most come in open and closed types, each letting in more or less background 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 ambient sounds along with the advantage of amplification.
These domes let less external sound in through fewer and smaller holes. These are better for more pronounced hearing loss where background noise can be distracting.
Power domes completely block the ear canal and have no venting. With these, nearly no outside sound can get in. These are most effective for extremely severe hearing loss.
Do hearing aid domes need to be changed?
For best results, you should change your hearing aid domes every 2-3 months (your ears are not the dirtiest place, but they aren’t the cleanest, either).
Hearing aid domes can typically be worn right out of the box. That’s one of the best things about them.
What are the benefits of hearing aid domes?
Hearing aid domes are prevalent for a wide variety of reasons. Here are some prevailing benefits:
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes aren’t very big, especially when they’re in your ear. They’re rather discrete in this way.
- You’re able to hear your own voice: A natural amount of sound can get through some types of hearing aid domes. So you will still be capable of hearing your own voice. You’ll most likely wear your hearing aids more if they sound clear and natural.
- No fitting time: One of the most popular (and immediate) benefits of hearing aid domes is that you don’t have to wait. 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 ideal solution. And if you want to demo a hearing aid before you buy it, they’re good for that too. With hearing aid domes, patients don’t have to sacrifice sound clarity to get quicker results.
- Everything sounds a little more natural: By finding the correct hearing aid dome type, you can ensure that your hearing aids produce a natural overall sound and improved sound clarity. That’s because some sound will still (probably) get in. We can help you determine the kind that’s best for you.
And again, this will mean you’re not as likely to leave your hearing aid sitting in a drawer.
Are there downsides to hearing aid domes?
As with any hearing device or medical treatment, there are some downsides and trade-offs to hearing aid domes, trade=offs you’ll want to consider before making a decision. Here are a few of the most prevalent:
- They can sometimes be uncomfortable: 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. Additionally, 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. If this occurs, you’ll likely need to come see us to get it removed.
- Sometimes, they can cause feedback: Feedback, though not that common, occasionally does occur. This is especially true for those who have high-frequency hearing loss.
- Some types of hearing loss aren’t suited 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 option for you. Again, the feedback can become a problem with high frequency hearing loss. For people who have profound hearing loss, it’s really the hearing aid itself that’s the problem: you’ll require something that’s bigger and which is more powerful than the styles typically associated with hearing aid domes.
So are hearing aid domes for me?
Ultimately, the decision of whether you should use hearing aid domes or not is largely a personal one. It’s up to you but we can help. And we will go over your specific needs and help advise you on the pros and cons.
Some individuals may do better waiting for a custom fitting. For other people, the immediate results of hearing aids you can wear today will build healthy, lifelong hearing habits.
The good thing is that you’ve got options.