After months (possibly even years) of waiting, you’ve finally decided to give us a call to find out if you should get hearing aids. You have been resisting this like so many others. But the hassle, the lost moments, the missing conversations, they all finally became too much.
So it’s a bit frustrating 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 dealing 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 some kind of arena where hearing aids duel in ancient, mythical combat. Only one hearing aid can emerge victorious from the hearing aid dome.
It’s not quite that exciting. But they are rather neat. Hearing aid domes are like little earbuds that you can put on the end of your hearing aid speaker. Usually made of silicone or plastic, they connect to the tubing of your hearing aid and fit around the part that goes into your ear canal. You can use them on both behind-the-ear and in-ear models. Here are the two general functions:
- They situate the hearing aid speaker (the bit that you listen to) in the most effective position within your ear canal. And they help keep 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 properly used, hearing aid domes offer you a bit of extra control and work to improve sound quality.
Domes for hearing aids look sort of like those bulbs at the end of your earbuds. There are multiple hearing aid dome types, so we will help you choose the one that’s best for your situation.
What is the difference between hearing aid domes?
Open types and closed types each let in different levels of ambient sound.
Hearing aid dome types include:
With these, more sound is able to pass through little holes in the dome. You get the advantage of amplification while still being able to process outside sounds.
These domes let less outside sound in through fewer and smaller holes. These are better for more advanced hearing loss where ambient noise can be distracting.
Power domes have no holes and totally block outside sounds. This means very little to no sound at all can get into the ear canal. These are most effective for very profound hearing loss.
How frequently 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).
Hearing aid domes can typically be worn right out of the box. In fact, that’s one of their primary benefits.
How will I benefit by using hearing aid buds?
Hearing aid domes are prevalent for a wide variety of reasons. The most common advantages include the following:
- You’re able to hear your own voice: Some hearing aid domes are created to let a natural amount of sound get through. 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 use your hearing aids far more often.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes are fairly small, especially when they’re tucked into your ear. In this way, they can be pretty discrete.
- No fitting time: One of the most prominent (and immediate) benefits of hearing aid domes is that you don’t need to wait. You can pop them in and use your hearing aid immediately. This is a perfect solution for individuals who don’t want to wait weeks for custom fit hearing aids. And if you want to demo a hearing aid before you buy it, they’re great for that too. With hearing aid domes, you don’t have to sacrifice sound clarity to get faster results.
- The outside world sounds more clear and natural: You can be sure your hearing aids create a clear, natural sound quality by picking 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.
And, once again, this means many people are more likely to wear those hearing aids more often.
What are the downsides to hearing aid domes?
You’ll want to be mindful of some of the drawbacks and trade-offs that come with hearing aid domes. Among the most common are the following:
- They aren’t always comfortable: Having something plugging the ear canal can be very unpleasant for some individuals. Hearing specialists call this sensation “occlusion,” and some individuals can find it intensely uncomfortable. Also, your hearing aid dome can become lodged 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.
- They can occasionally be more prone to feedback: Feedback, though not very common, occasionally does occur. This is especially true for individuals who have high-frequency hearing loss.
- Some types of hearing loss aren’t suited 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. Once again, the feedback can become an issue with high frequency hearing loss. It’s the hearing aid itself that’s an issue with profound hearing loss: the type of hearing aid typically associated with hearing aid domes is normally not large or powerful enough for this kind of hearing loss.
Should I use hearing aid domes?
Ultimately, the decision of whether you should use hearing aid domes or not is mostly a personal one. We can help but it’s up to you. And we will be able to walk you through all the pros and cons related to your personal hearing health.
Some individuals might be better off waiting for a custom fitting. For others, the quick results of hearing aids you can use today will create healthy, lifelong hearing habits.
You have options and that’s the nice thing.