After months (maybe even years) of waiting, you’ve finally decided to give us a call to find out if you should get hearing aids. Like many other people, you’ve been resisting this. But the difficulty of living life without being able to hear has finally become too much.
So it’s a bit disheartening when you’re at the hearing specialist’s office and you find out that you’re going to need to wait another couple of weeks for custom fit hearing aids.
That means that you will be missing some of life’s precious moments for two more weeks. But you could try a simple little device add on known as a hearing aid dome instead.
What exactly is a hearing aid dome?
They sound kind of epic, right? Like some kind of arena where hearing aids duel in ancient, mythical combat. Only one hearing aid can come forth victorious from the hearing aid dome.
It’s not quite that exciting. They are rather cool though. 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 around the part that goes into your ear canal. You can use them with both behind-the-ear and in-ear models. Here are the two basic functions:
- They guarantee that the speaker of the hearing aid is seated in an optimal position in your ear. And they position the speaker so it won’t jiggle around in 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 improve the sound quality and offer 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 select the hearing aid dome that’s best for you from several kinds, and we can help you do that.
What is the difference between hearing aid domes?
Most come in open and closed styles, each letting in more or less ambient sound.
Hearing aid dome models include:
These have openings in the dome that allow more outside sound to get through and into your ears. This helps your ear process ambient sounds while still getting the benefit of amplification.
These domes let less external sound in through fewer and smaller holes. For individuals with more significant 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 holes. With these, nearly no external sound can get in. These domes will be best for people with very severe hearing loss.
Do hearing aid domes need to be swapped out?
For best results, you should swap out your hearing aid domes every 2-3 months (your ears can be a bit dirty in there).
For most people, hearing aid domes can be worn right out of the box. In fact, that’s one of their biggest benefits.
What are the benefits of hearing aid domes?
Hearing aid domes are prevalent for a wide array of reasons. The most widespread advantages include the following:
- You’re able to hear your own voice: Some hearing aid domes are designed to let a natural level of sound get through. This means you can still hear your own voice as you normally would. This makes the clarity of sound feel much more natural, which means you’re more likely to wear your hearing aids far more often.
- No fitting time: One of the most prominent (and immediate) advantages of hearing aid domes is that you don’t have to wait. You can un-box them, put them on your hearing aid and you’re ready to go. This is an ideal solution for individuals who don’t want to wait weeks for custom fit hearing aids. And if you want to demo a hearing aid before you purchase it, they’re great for that too. With hearing aid domes, you don’t need to sacrifice sound clarity to get quicker results.
- The outside world sounds more clear and natural: You can be sure your hearing aids create a clear, natural sound quality by choosing the right type of hearing aid domes. That’s because some sound will still (probably) get through. We can help you determine the type that’s best for you.
- 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 pretty discrete.
And, once again, this means many people are more likely to use those hearing aids more often.
What are the downsides 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 prevalent:
- They can at times be uncomfortable: Some individuals don’t like the feeling of something blocking their ear canal. Some people find this feeling, called “occlusion” by hearing specialist, extremely uncomfortable. Also, your hearing aid dome can become lodged in your ear if you pull it out too fast or if you don’t keep it clean. If this occurs, you’ll likely need to come see us to get it removed.
- Occasionally, they can cause 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 suitable for all types of hearing loss: For instance, if you have profound hearing loss or high frequency hearing loss, hearing aid domes may not be the preferred solution for you. 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 an issue with profound hearing loss: the type of hearing aid typically associated with hearing aid domes is usually not large or powerful enough for this type of hearing loss.
Should I get hearing aid domes?
Ultimately, the choice of whether you should use hearing aid domes or not is largely a personal one. We can help but it’s your choice. And we will go over your individual needs and help advise you on the pros and cons.
For some people, it might be worth waiting the extra couple of weeks for a custom-fit device. Others will create healthy lifelong hearing habits by opting for a solution that allows them to start using their new hearing aids right away.
You have options and that’s the good thing.