After months (maybe even years) of waiting, you’ve finally resolved to contact us to see if you need hearing aids. Like many, you’ve been resisting this. But the stress of going through life without being able to hear has finally become too hard to ignore.
So it’s a little frustrating when you’re at the hearing specialist’s office and you learn 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. Of course, there is another option: a deceptively simple device add-on, called hearing aid domes.
What are hearing aid domes?
They sound kind of epic, right? Like hearing aids fighting in some kind of ancient mythological arena. Only one hearing aid can emerge victorious from the hearing aid dome.
Well, it’s a little less thrilling than that. They are rather cool though. Hearing aid domes are like little earbuds that you can put at the end of your hearing aid speaker. Usually made out of silicone or plastic, they connect to the tubing of your hearing aid and fit on the part that goes into your ear canal. They’re made for behind-the-ear or inside-the-ear-canal models of hearing aids. And they generally do two things:
- They guarantee that the speaker of the hearing aid is sitting in an ideal 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, particularly when that outside sound can impede the functionality of your hearing aid. When properly used, hearing aid domes give you some extra control and work to improve sound quality.
Domes for hearing aids look kind of like those bulbs at the end of your earbuds. There are several hearing aid dome styles, so we will help you select the one that’s best for your needs.
Different types of hearing aid domes
Most come in open and closed designs, each letting in more or less ambient sound.
Hearing aid dome models include:
With these, more sound is able to pass through little holes in the dome. This helps your ear process natural sounds along with the benefit of amplification.
These domes let less outside sound in through fewer and smaller holes. These are better for more pronounced hearing loss where ambient noise can be distracting.
Power domes have no holes and totally block outside sounds. This means virtually no sound at all can pass into the ear canal. These domes will be ideal for individuals 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 can be a bit unclean in there).
Hearing aid domes can typically be used 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 numerous reasons why hearing aid domes are popular. The most common benefits include the following:
- No fitting time: Not having to wait is one of the best 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. It’s also good for individuals who want to try out their hearing aids before they buy them. For patients who want faster results, hearing aid domes can provide a way to achieve that without compromising the quality of your sound clarity.
- You can hear your own voice: Some hearing aid domes are designed to let a natural level of sound come in. 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 likely to wear your hearing aids far more often.
- Everything sounds a little more natural: By selecting the best hearing aid dome type, you can be certain that your hearing aids generate a natural overall sound and improved sound clarity. That’s because some sound will still (probably) get in. We can help you identify the type that’s best for you.
- 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.
And, again, this means many individuals are more likely to use those hearing aids more often.
Are there downsides to hearing aid domes?
As with any hearing device or medical treatment, there are some drawbacks and trade-offs to hearing aid domes, trade=offs you’ll want to think about before making a decision. 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. Hearing specialists call this sensation “occlusion,” and some people can find it intensely 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 may separate from the tubing and get stuck in your ear canal. If this happens, you’ll likely need to come see us to have it removed.
- They can sometimes be more prone to feedback: Feedback, though not really common, occasionally does occur. This is especially true for people who have high-frequency hearing loss.
- Some types of hearing loss aren’t suitable for hearing aid domes: As an example, hearing aid domes won’t be the best choice if you have high frequency hearing loss or profound hearing loss. Again, the feedback can become an issue with high frequency hearing loss. For individuals with profound hearing loss, it’s really the hearing aid itself that’s the issue: you’ll require something that’s larger and which is more powerful than the types typically associated with hearing aid domes.
So are hearing aid domes right for me?
Inevitably, the choice of whether you should use hearing aid domes or not is mostly a personal one. 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 unique hearing health.
For some people, it might be worth waiting the extra two weeks for a custom-fit device. Others will create healthy lifelong hearing habits by choosing a solution that lets them begin using their new hearing aids right away.
You’ve got options and that’s the nice thing.