After months (maybe even years) of waiting, you’ve finally decided to give us a call to find out if you should get hearing aids. Like many, you’ve been resisting this. But the stress of living life without being able to hear has finally become too much.
So it’s a bit discouraging when you’re at the hearing specialist’s office and you learn that you’re going to have to wait another two weeks for custom fit hearing aids.
That’s another two weeks struggling with those lost moments before you can begin getting them back. But you could try a basic little device add on called a hearing aid dome instead.
What exactly is a hearing aid dome?
Doesn’t that sound sort of epic? Like some kind of arena where hearing aids duel in ancient, mythical combat. Only one hearing aid can come forth victorious from the hearing aid dome.
Well, it’s a little less thrilling than that. But they are rather neat. Hearing aid domes are like little earbuds that you can place on 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 around the part that goes in your ear canal. They’re made for behind-the-ear or inside-the-ear-canal models of hearing aids. And they basically do two things:
- They position 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 wiggling around.
- Sometimes, external sound can interfere with the sound of your hearing aid and hearing aid domes help avoid that by controlling the amount of outside sound. Hearing aid domes work to enhance the sound quality and provide an extra bit of control when used correctly.
Those small bulbs at the end of earbuds are a lot like hearing aid domes. You will have to choose the hearing aid dome that’s ideal for you from a number of types, and we can help you do that.
What is the difference between hearing aid domes?
Open types and closed types each let in different amounts of background 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 while still getting the benefit of amplification.
As the name suggests, these domes have fewer openings and block more ambient sound than open domes can. For people with more profound hearing loss, ambient noise can be quite distracting and this kind of dome can help with that.
Power domes don’t have any holes and completely block outside sounds. This means virtually no sound at all can get into the ear canal. These are most effective for extremely severe hearing loss.
How frequently should you change your hearing aid domes?
For best effect, you should change your hearing aid domes every 2-3 months (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.
What are the advantages of hearing aid domes?
Hearing aid domes are popular for a wide variety of reasons. Here are some common benefits:
- The external world sounds more clear and natural: By choosing the best hearing aid dome type, you can be certain that your hearing aids generate a natural overall sound and enhanced sound clarity. More than likely, some sound will still get through and that’s the reason for this. We can help you identify the kind that’s best for you.
- Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes are fairly small, particularly when they’re tucked into your ear. They’re pretty discrete in this way.
- 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 a lot more natural, which means you’re more likely to use your hearing aids far more often.
- No fitting time: One of the most popular (and immediate) benefits of hearing aid domes is that you don’t need to wait. You can pop them in and wear your hearing aid right away. For individuals who don’t want to wait for custom fit hearing aids, it’s the ideal option. And if you want to try out a hearing aid before you buy it, they’re good for that too. With hearing aid domes, patients don’t need to sacrifice sound clarity to get faster results.
And, once again, this means many individuals are more likely to use those hearing aids more often.
Are there drawbacks to hearing aid domes?
As with any hearing device or medical treatment, there are some downsides and trade-offs to hearing aid domes, trade=offs you’ll want to consider before deciding. Here are a few of the most common:
- They’re not always comfortable: Having something plugging the ear canal can be really unpleasant for some people. Hearing specialists call this feeling “occlusion,” and some individuals can find it extremely unpleasant. Also, your hearing aid dome can get lodged in your ear if you pull it out too fast or if you don’t keep it clean. If this occurs, you’ll likely need to come see us to have it removed.
- Sometimes, they can cause feedback: Feedback isn’t necessarily typical, but it can occur. For individuals who have high frequency hearing loss, this is particularly true.
- Not ideal for all forms of hearing loss: As an illustration, hearing aid domes won’t be the ideal choice if you have high frequency hearing loss or profound hearing loss. 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: you’ll require something that’s larger and which has more power than the styles commonly associated with hearing aid domes.
Should I get hearing aid domes?
Ultimately, the decision 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 be able to help you understand all the pros and cons related to your unique hearing health.
For some individuals, it might be worth waiting the extra couple of weeks for a custom-fit device. For other people, the immediate results of hearing aids you can use today will build healthy, lifelong hearing habits.
The good thing is that you’ve got options.