After months (possibly even years) of waiting, you’ve finally resolved to give us a call to find out if you need hearing aids. You have been resisting this like so many others. But the inconvenience, the lost moments, the missing interactions, they all finally became too hard to ignore.
So it’s a little disheartening when you’re sitting in the hearing specialist’s office and you learn that you’re going to need to wait another two weeks for custom fit hearing aids.
That means that you will be missing some of life’s treasured moments for two more weeks. But you could try a basic little device add on known as a hearing aid dome instead.
What exactly is a hearing aid dome?
Doesn’t that sound sort of epic? Like hearing aids dueling in some type of ancient mythical arena. Only one hearing aid can emerge victorious from the hearing aid dome.
It’s not quite that exciting. But they are pretty neat. Hearing aid domes are like little earbuds that you can place at the end of your hearing aid speaker. Typically made of plastic or silicone, they fit around that little bit that goes inside your ear canal, attaching to the tubing of your hearing aid. They’re made for behind-the-ear or inside-the-ear-canal style hearing aids. And they basically do two things:
- They situate the hearing aid speaker (the bit that you listen to) in the most effective position inside of your ear canal. And they help keep the speaker in place. That way it’s not wiggling around.
- They can help limit the amount of external sound you hear, especially when that external sound can impede the functionality of your hearing aid. Hearing aid domes work to enhance the sound clarity and offer an extra bit of control when used correctly.
Those small bulbs at the end of earbuds are similar to hearing aid domes. There are multiple hearing aid dome types, so we will help you pick the one that’s best for your situation.
Different types of hearing aid domes
Open types and closed types each let in different levels of ambient sound.
Hearing aid domes come in different kinds, including:
With these, more sound is able to pass through little holes in the dome. This helps your ear process natural sounds while still getting the benefit of amplification.
These domes let less external sound in through fewer and smaller holes. These are better for more advanced hearing loss where ambient noise can be distracting.
Power domes totally block the ear canal and have no holes. This means very little to no sound at all can pass into the ear canal. These are most effective for extremely profound hearing loss.
Do hearing aid domes need to be swapped out?
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).
For most individuals, hearing aid domes can be used right out of the box. In fact, that’s one of their primary advantages.
How will I benefit by wearing hearing aid buds?
Hearing aid domes are prevalent for a wide variety of reasons. Here are a few prevailing advantages:
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes aren’t that big, particularly when they’re in your ear. In this way, they can be pretty discrete.
- You’re able to hear your own voice: A natural amount of sound can get through some types of hearing aid domes. This means you will still be able to hear your own voice as you naturally would. This makes the clarity of sound feel much more natural, which means you’re likely to wear your hearing a great deal more often.
- Everything sounds a little more natural: You can be sure your hearing aids create a clear, natural sound quality by selecting the right type of hearing aid domes. That’s because some sound will still (probably) get in. Once again, this depends on the type of dome, and we will help you with this.
- No fitting time: One of the most popular (and immediate) advantages of hearing aid domes is that you don’t have to wait. You can put them in and wear your hearing aid immediately. For individuals who don’t want to wait for custom fit hearing aids, it’s the best option. And if you want to demo a hearing aid before you purchase it, they’re great for that too. For patients who want faster results, hearing aid domes can provide a way to achieve that without compromising the quality of your sound clarity.
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 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 common:
- They can at times be uncomfortable: Having something filling the ear canal can be very unpleasant for some individuals. Some people find this feeling, called “occlusion” by hearing specialist, extremely uncomfortable. Also, your hearing aid dome can get stuck in your ear if you pull it out too fast or if you don’t keep it clean. You’ll most likely need to come in and see us to have it removed if this happens.
- Sometimes, they can cause feedback: Feedback, though not very common, occasionally does happen. For people who are dealing with high frequency hearing loss, this is particularly true.
- Some forms of hearing loss aren’t suited for hearing aid domes: As an illustration, hearing aid domes won’t be the best choice if you have high frequency hearing loss or profound hearing loss. For those with high-frequency hearing loss, once again, it’s the feedback that becomes the issue. 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 types typically associated with hearing aid domes.
Should I get hearing aid domes?
Ultimately, the choice of whether you should use hearing aid domes or not is mostly a personal one. It’s your choice but we can help. And we will look at your specific needs and help advise you on the pros and cons.
For some individuals, it might be worth waiting the extra couple of weeks for a custom-fit device. Others will build healthy lifelong hearing habits by opting for a solution that allows them to begin using their new hearing aids immediately.
You have options and that’s the nice thing.