You’ve been putting off calling us to see if you need hearing aids, but you’ve finally decided it’s time. You’ve been resisting this like so many other people. But the stress 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 find out that you will still need to wait another two weeks before you obtain your custom fit hearing aids, it can be discouraging.
That’s another two weeks struggling with those lost moments before you can begin getting them back. But you could try a simple little device add on known as a hearing aid dome instead.
What are hearing aid domes?
Doesn’t that sound sort of epic? Like some type of arena where hearing aids battle in ancient, mythological combat. Welcome to the Hearing Aid Dome: Two hearing aids enter…but only one leaves!
Well, it’s a little less thrilling than that. But they are pretty neat. Hearing aid domes are like tiny earbuds that you can place on the end of your hearing aid speaker. Typically made of plastic or silicone, they fit around that little part that goes in your ear canal, connecting to the tubing of your hearing aid. You can use them with both behind-the-ear and in-ear models. And they generally do two things:
- They position the hearing aid speaker (the bit that you listen to) in the most effective position within your ear canal. And they secure the speaker so it won’t move around inside of your ear.
- In some cases, external sound can impede the sound of your hearing aid and hearing aid domes help stop that by regulating the amount of outside sound. Hearing aid domes work to enhance the sound quality and provide an extra bit of control when used properly.
Domes for hearing aids look kind of like those bulbs at the end of your earbuds. You will have to choose the hearing aid dome that’s ideal for you from a number of types, and we can assist you in doing that.
Different types of hearing aid domes
Most come in open and closed types, each letting in more or less ambient sound.
Hearing aid dome types include:
With these, more sound is capable of passing through little holes in the dome. This helps your ear process natural sounds while still getting the advantage of amplification.
These domes let less outside sound in through fewer and smaller holes. For people with more profound hearing loss, background noise can be really distracting and this type of dome can help with that.
Power domes don’t have any holes and totally block outside sounds. With these, nearly no external sound can get in. These are most practical for extremely profound hearing loss.
How often should you change your hearing aid domes?
For best effect, 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.
How will I benefit by using hearing aid buds?
Hearing aid domes are prevalent for a wide array of reasons. The most widespread benefits include the following:
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes aren’t very big, particularly when they’re in your ear. They’re pretty discrete in this way.
- You can hear your own voice: A natural amount 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 normally would. This makes the clarity of sound seem much more natural, which means you’re more likely to use your hearing a great deal more often.
- Everything sounds a bit more natural: You can be sure 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 determine the kind that’s ideal for you.
- 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 option. And if you want to try out a hearing aid before you buy it, they’re great for that too. With hearing aid domes, you don’t have to sacrifice sound clarity to get quicker results.
And again, this will mean you’re less likely to leave your hearing aid sitting on your nightstand.
What are the drawbacks to hearing aid domes?
You’ll want to be mindful of some of the downsides and trade-offs that come with hearing aid domes. Here are a few of the most common:
- They’re not always comfortable: Having something filling the ear canal can be extremely uncomfortable for some individuals. Some people find this feeling, called “occlusion” by hearing specialist, extremely uncomfortable. Additionally, if you pull your hearing aid dome out too quickly (or don’t clean it often enough), there’s the chance that it might separate from the tubing and get lodged in your ear canal. 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, though not very common, sometimes does happen. This is especially true for those who are dealing with 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 might not be the best solution for you. Again, the feedback can become a problem with high frequency hearing loss. 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 styles typically 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 up to you. And we will go over your individual needs and help advise you on the pros and cons.
Some individuals may do better waiting for a custom fitting. For others, the quick results of hearing aids you can use today will build healthy, lifelong hearing habits.
The nice thing is that you’ve got options.