You’ve been avoiding 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 inconvenience, the lost moments, the missing interactions, they all finally became too hard to ignore.
So it’s a bit discouraging 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’s another two weeks dealing with those lost moments before you can start getting them back. But you could try a basic little device add on called a hearing aid dome instead.
What are hearing aid domes?
They sound kind of grand, right? Like some kind of arena where hearing aids battle in ancient, mythological combat. Only one hearing aid can emerge victorious from the hearing aid dome.
Well, it’s a little less exciting than that. But they are rather neat. Hearing aid domes are like little earbuds that you can put on the end of your hearing aid speaker. Generally made of plastic or silicone, they fit over 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 an ideal position within your ear canal. And they position the speaker so it won’t move around in your ear.
- In some cases, external sound can impede the sound of your hearing aid and hearing aid domes help avoid that by regulating the amount of outside sound. When used correctly, hearing aid domes provide you with a bit of extra control and work to improve sound quality.
Those little bulbs at the end of earbuds are similar to hearing aid domes. You will have to choose the hearing aid dome that’s best for you from a number of kinds, and we can assist you in doing that.
What is the difference between hearing aid domes?
Most come in open and closed designs, each letting in more or less ambient sound.
Hearing aid dome types 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 advantage of amplification.
These domes let less external sound in through fewer and smaller holes. For people with more severe hearing loss, ambient noise can be quite distracting and this kind of dome can help with that.
Power domes totally block the ear canal and have no venting. With these, almost no outside sound can get in. These are most practical for very severe hearing loss.
How frequently should you change your hearing aid domes?
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).
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 wearing hearing aid buds?
There are a number of reasons why hearing aid domes are popular. Here are some prevailing advantages:
- The outside world sounds more clear and natural: By finding the correct hearing aid dome type, you can be certain that your hearing aids generate a natural overall sound and enhanced sound clarity. That’s because some sound will still (probably) get in. Once again, this depends on the type of dome, and we can help you with this.
- You can hear your own voice: A natural amount of sound can get through some models of hearing aid domes. 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.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes aren’t that big, particularly when they’re in your ear. They’re rather discrete in this way.
- No fitting time: One of the most popular (and immediate) advantages of hearing aid domes is that you don’t need to wait. You can put them in and use your hearing aid immediately. For people who don’t want to wait for custom fit hearing aids, it’s the ideal option. It’s also great for people who want to try out their hearing aids before they buy them. With hearing aid domes, patients don’t need to sacrifice sound clarity to get quicker results.
And, once again, this means many individuals are more likely to use those hearing aids more often.
Are there drawbacks to hearing aid domes?
You’ll want to be aware of some of the downsides and trade-offs that come with hearing aid domes. Among the most prevalent are the following:
- They aren’t always comfortable: Having something plugging the ear canal can be extremely unpleasant for some individuals. Some individuals find this feeling, called “occlusion” by hearing specialist, extremely uncomfortable. 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 sometimes be more prone to feedback: Feedback isn’t necessarily typical, but it can happen. This is especially true for people who have high-frequency hearing loss.
- Not ideal for all forms of hearing loss: For example, if you are suffering from profound hearing loss or high frequency hearing loss, hearing aid domes might not be the best solution for you. 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 problem: you’ll require something that’s larger and which is more powerful than the styles commonly associated with hearing aid domes.
So are hearing aid domes right for me?
It’s largely a personal choice whether you use hearing aid domes. We can help but it’s your choice. And we will be able to help you understand all the pros and cons pertaining to your personal hearing health.
Some individuals may do better waiting for a custom fitting. Others will build healthy lifelong hearing habits by opting for a solution that lets them start using their new hearing aids right away.
The good thing is that you’ve got options.