You’ve been putting off calling us to see if you need hearing aids, but you’ve finally decided it’s time. Like many other people, you’ve been resisting this. But the inconvenience, the lost moments, the missing interactions, they all finally became too much.
So it’s a bit discouraging when you’re sitting in the hearing specialist’s office and you learn that you’re going to have to wait another couple of weeks for custom fit hearing aids.
That’s another two weeks struggling with those lost moments before you can start getting them back. Of course, there is another option: a deceptively basic device add-on, known as hearing aid domes.
What are hearing aid domes?
They sound kind of epic, right? Like hearing aids fighting in some type of ancient mythological arena. Only one hearing aid can come forth victorious from the hearing aid dome.
Well, it’s a bit less exciting than that. They are rather cool though. Hearing aid domes are like tiny earbuds that you can put at the end of your hearing aid speaker. Generally 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 models of hearing aids. Here are the two basic functions:
- They assure that the speaker of the hearing aid is seated in an optimal position in your ear. And they help secure the speaker in place. That way it’s not moving around.
- In some cases, external sound can impede the sound of your hearing aid and hearing aid domes help stop that by controlling the amount of outside sound. When used correctly, hearing aid domes provide you with some extra control and work to improve sound clarity.
Those small bulbs at the end of earbuds are a lot like hearing aid domes. There are several hearing aid dome styles, so we will help you pick the one that’s best for your needs.
What is the difference between hearing aid domes?
Open types and closed types each let in different levels of background sound.
Hearing aid dome types include:
These have holes in the dome that allow more natural sound to pass through and into your ears. This helps your ear process ambient sounds along with the benefit of amplification.
These domes let less external sound in through fewer and smaller holes. For people with more significant hearing loss, ambient noise can be really distracting and this kind of dome can help with that.
Power domes completely block the ear canal and have no venting. With these, almost no external sound can get in. These are most practical for very 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 aren’t the dirtiest place, but they aren’t the cleanest, either).
For most individuals, hearing aid domes can be used right out of the box. That’s one of the greatest things about them.
What are the benefits of hearing aid domes?
Hearing aid domes are popular for a wide variety of reasons. The most common advantages include the following:
- The outside world sounds more clear and natural: By finding the best hearing aid dome type, you can ensure that your hearing aids generate a natural overall sound and improved sound clarity. Most likely, some sound will still get in and that’s the reason for this. 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. They’re pretty discrete in this way.
- No fitting time: One of the most prominent (and immediate) advantages of hearing aid domes is that you don’t need to wait. You can un-box them, pop them on your hearing aid and you’re good to go. This is an ideal solution for people who don’t want to wait weeks for custom fit hearing aids. It’s also great for individuals who want to demo their hearing aids before they buy them. For people who want faster results, hearing aid domes can provide a way to accomplish that without compromising the quality of your sound clarity.
- You can hear your own voice: A natural amount of sound can get through some models of hearing aid domes. So you will still be able to hear your own voice. This makes the clarity of sound seem a lot more natural, which means you’re likely to use your hearing aids far more often.
And again, this will mean you’re not as likely to leave your hearing aid sitting on your nightstand.
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. Among the most common are the following:
- They’re not always comfortable: Some people are uncomfortable with the feeling of something blocking their ear canal. Hearing specialists call this sensation “occlusion,” and some individuals can find it intensely unpleasant. Also, your hearing aid dome can get stuck in your ear if you pull it out too quickly 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.
- They can sometimes be more prone to feedback: Feedback isn’t necessarily common, but it does happen. This is particularly true for people who are dealing with high-frequency hearing loss.
- Not ideal for all types of hearing loss: For example, if you are suffering from profound hearing loss or high frequency hearing loss, hearing aid domes may not be the best option for you. Again, the feedback can become a problem with high frequency hearing loss. For those with profound hearing loss, it’s really the hearing aid itself that’s the problem: you’ll need something that’s larger and which has more power than the styles commonly associated with hearing aid domes.
So are hearing aid domes right for me?
Ultimately, the decision of whether you should use hearing aid domes or not is largely a personal one. We can help but it’s up to you. And we will look at your individual needs and help advise you on the pros and cons.
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 opting for a solution that lets them start using their new hearing aids immediately.
You have options and that’s the nice thing.