After months (possibly even years) of waiting, you’ve finally decided to contact us to see if you should get hearing aids. Like many other people, you’ve been resisting this. But the inconvenience, the lost moments, the missing interactions, they all finally became too hard to ignore.
So when you do finally come in and then you learn that you will still need to wait another two weeks before you obtain your custom fit hearing aids, it can be frustrating.
That means that you will be missing some of life’s precious moments for two more weeks. 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 hearing aids dueling in some type of ancient mythological arena. Welcome to the Hearing Aid Dome: Two hearing aids enter…but only one leaves!
Well, it’s a bit less exciting than that. They are rather cool though. Hearing aid domes are like tiny earbuds that you can place at the end of your hearing aid speaker. Usually made out of silicone or plastic, they attach to the tubing of your hearing aid and fit around the part that goes in your ear canal. You can use them with both behind-the-ear and in-ear models. Here are the two basic functions:
- They situate the hearing aid speaker (the part that you listen to) in an ideal position within your ear canal. And they help keep the speaker in place. That way it’s not moving around.
- They can help limit the amount of outside sound you hear, particularly when that external sound can interfere with the function of your hearing aid. Hearing aid domes work to improve the sound quality and offer an extra bit of control when used properly.
Those little bulbs at the end of earbuds are similar to hearing aid domes. There are several hearing aid dome types, so we will help you pick 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 domes come in different kinds, including:
With these, more sound is able to pass through little holes in the dome. You get the benefit of amplification while still being able to process external sounds.
These domes let less external sound in through fewer and smaller holes. These are better for more pronounced hearing loss where ambient noise can be distracting.
Power domes completely block the ear canal and have no venting. With these, almost no outside sound can get in. These are most effective for very severe hearing loss.
How often should you change your hearing aid domes?
Every two to three months will be the best schedule for changing your hearing aid domes (your ears can be a bit dirty in there).
For most people, hearing aid domes can be used right out of the box. As a matter of fact, that’s one of their biggest advantages.
How will I benefit by using hearing aid buds?
There are numerous reasons why hearing aid domes are prevalent. The most widespread advantages include the following:
- The outside world sounds more clear and natural: By finding the correct hearing aid dome type, you can be certain that your hearing aids produce a natural overall sound and enhanced sound clarity. That’s because some sound will still (probably) get through. We can help you determine the kind 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. In this way, they can be rather discrete.
- No fitting time: Not needing to wait is one of the best benefits of hearing aid domes. You can pop them in and wear your hearing aid right away. This is an ideal option for people who don’t want to wait weeks for custom fit hearing aids. And if you want to try out a hearing aid before you buy it, they’re great for that too. With hearing aid domes, patients don’t need to sacrifice sound clarity to get faster results.
- You’re able to hear your own voice: Some hearing aid domes are designed to let a natural level of sound come in. This means you will still be able to hear your own voice as you naturally would. You’ll most likely use your hearing aids more if they sound clear and natural.
And again, this will mean you’re not as likely to leave your hearing aid sitting in a drawer.
What are the drawbacks to hearing aid domes?
You’ll want to be aware of some of the drawbacks and trade-offs that come with hearing aid domes. Here are a few of the most common:
- They’re not always comfortable: Some people don’t like the feeling of something filling their ear canal. Some people find this sensation, called “occlusion” by hearing specialist, intensely uncomfortable. Additionally, if you pull your hearing aid dome out too fast (or don’t clean it often enough), there’s the possibility that it may separate from the tubing and get stuck in your ear canal. You’ll probably 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 that common, occasionally does occur. This is particularly true for those who have high-frequency hearing loss.
- Some forms of hearing loss aren’t suitable for hearing aid domes: For instance, if you have profound hearing loss or high frequency hearing loss, hearing aid domes may not be the best solution for you. For people with high-frequency hearing loss, once again, it’s the feedback that becomes the issue. For individuals with profound hearing loss, it’s really the hearing aid itself that’s the issue: the kind of hearing aid typically associated with hearing aid domes is normally not large or powerful enough for this form of hearing loss.
So are hearing aid domes for me?
It’s largely a personal choice whether you use hearing aid domes. 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.
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 choosing a solution that lets them begin using their new hearing aids immediately.
The nice thing is that you’ve got options.