The Pros and Cons of Hearing Aid Domes

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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 difficulty of going through life without being able to hear has finally become too much.

So it’s a bit 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 losing some of life’s treasured moments for two more weeks. But you could try a basic little device add on called a hearing aid dome instead.

What exactly is a hearing aid dome?

They sound sort of epic, right? Like some kind of arena where hearing aids battle in ancient, mythical combat. Welcome to the Hearing Aid Dome: Two hearing aids enter…but only one leaves!

It’s not quite that exciting. They are rather cool though. Hearing aid domes are like tiny earbuds that you can place 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 inside of your ear canal. They’re made for both behind-the-ear or inside-the-ear-canal models of hearing aids. And they generally 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 position the speaker so it won’t jiggle around inside of your ear.
  • They can help limit the amount of outside sound you hear, particularly when that outside sound can interfere with the function of your hearing aid. When used correctly, hearing aid domes offer you a bit of extra control and work to enhance sound quality.

Domes for hearing aids look kind of like those bulbs at the end of your earbuds. You will have to select the hearing aid dome that’s ideal for you from several kinds, and we can assist you in doing that.

Different types of hearing aid domes

Most come in open and closed types, each letting in more or less background sound.

Hearing aid dome types include:

Open Domes

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.

Closed Domes

As the name implies, these domes have fewer holes and block more ambient sound than open domes do. These are better for more pronounced hearing loss where background noise can be a distraction.

Power Domes

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 profound hearing loss.

Do hearing aid domes need to be swapped out?

Every two to three months will be the best schedule for changing your hearing aid domes (your ears are not the dirtiest place, but they aren’t the cleanest, either).

For most people, hearing aid domes can be worn right out of the box. In fact, that’s one of their biggest benefits.

What are the advantages of hearing aid domes?

There are a number of reasons why hearing aid domes are prevalent. Here are some prevailing benefits:

  • No fitting time: One of the most popular (and immediate) benefits of hearing aid domes is that you don’t have to wait. You can pop them in and wear your hearing aid right away. For people who don’t want to wait for custom fit hearing aids, it’s the ideal solution. And if you want to demo 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 quicker results.
  • You’re able to hear your own voice: A natural level of sound can get through some models of hearing aid domes. This means you will still be able to hear your own voice as you normally would. You’ll most likely use your hearing aids more often if they sound clear and natural.
  • Hearing aid domes can be more discrete: Hearing aid domes aren’t that big, especially when they’re in your ear. They’re rather discrete in this way.
  • Everything sounds a bit more natural: You can be certain your hearing aids produce a clear, natural sound quality by selecting the right type of hearing aid domes. That’s because some sound will still (probably) get in. We can help you determine the type that’s best for you.

And again, this will mean you’re less likely to leave your hearing aid sitting in a drawer.

Are there 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 can sometimes be uncomfortable: Having something filling the ear canal can be really uncomfortable for some individuals. Hearing specialists call this feeling “occlusion,” and some people can find it intensely uncomfortable. In addition, if you pull your hearing aid dome out too quickly (or don’t clean it frequently enough), there’s the possibility that it may separate from the tubing and get lodged in your ear canal. You’ll probably need to come in and see us to get it removed if this happens.
  • They can sometimes be more prone to feedback: Feedback isn’t necessarily typical, but it can happen. This is especially true for those who are dealing with high-frequency hearing loss.
  • Some forms of hearing loss aren’t suited for hearing aid domes: 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 an issue with high frequency hearing loss. For individuals who have profound hearing loss, it’s really the hearing aid itself that’s the issue: you’ll need something that’s bigger and which has more power than the styles typically associated with hearing aid domes.

Should I use 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 be able to help you understand all the pros and cons pertaining to your personal hearing health.

Some people may be better off waiting for a custom fitting. For others, the quick results of hearing aids you can wear today will build healthy, lifelong hearing habits.

The good thing is that you have options.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.