Ever since the 18th century invention of the hearing trumpet, hearing healthcare providers have been seeking out the best method of channeling sounds straight into a hearing aid wearer’s inner ears. Hearing aids are now smaller and becoming more powerful at transferring amplified sound to an individual’s auditory system with the latest devices. Hearing aid domes support users by improving the quality of sound.
What Exactly is a Hearing Aid Dome?
These domes are small, bell - or mushroom - shaped parts comprised of silicon. They are connected to the end of hearing aid tubing and fit far inside the ear canal. There are a variety of shapes and sizes that can adjust to a person’s unique ear canal.
The domes are typically paired with behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids, which are known as receiver in the canal (RIC) or receiver in the ear (RITE). A hearing healthcare provider, or hearing instrument specialist, will help determine the dome’s size and length of the tubing that would be appropriate for you.
The RIC/RITE hearing aid style has the loudspeaker deep inside the ear canal, while keeping the processor and microphone resting on top of the ear.
Should You use a Hearing Aid Dome?
Hearing aid domes work best for individuals who suffer from mild-to-moderate hearing loss, particularly those who have high frequency hearing loss, also known as presbycusis -- the most common type of hearing loss that is related to aging.
The RIC or RITE hearing aids are usually small, and have a microphone and processor which fit inside a small case that rests behind the ear. The speaker is secured onto the processor with a thin tube or wire, which is used to fit far inside the ear canal.
This type of hearing aid is not suggested for users who suffer from severe-to-profound hearing loss. A BTE hearing aid, with earmolds, would be more appropriate. Earmolds have the strongest amplification and are less prone to being damaged by moisture from the ear canal.
In many instances, it’s a wearer’s personal choice, with the guidance of their hearing healthcare provider or hearing instrument specialist. So, those who have mild-to-moderate hearing loss can use earmolds if that is what they desire.
Advantages and Disadvantages of using Hearing Aid Domes
A big advantage of wearing a dome is how it fits inside your ear canal.
It is important to vent the hearing aid so that the ears do not become clogged. This lets natural sounds and air to flow into the ear. Domes are open so that low frequencies can pass through, and the hearing aid can intensify higher frequencies to let you hear more clearly. This is how wearers can get better high frequencies with no acoustic feedback.
Domes are easy to clean. You can wipe them using a soft cloth after a day’s use. Since many hearing aid manufacturers share dome styles and sizes, this makes them fairly inexpensive to replace.
Domes do not last forever. They must be switched out every two to three months. Hearing aid wearers must be careful not to get the dome stuck in their ear.
In order to avoid problems, discuss how frequently you change your hearing aid domes and how you should take care of them, with the guidance from your hearing healthcare provider, or hearing instrument specialist.
Do not use old domes on new hearing devices. They are not always compatible and could get stuck in your ear canal if it does not stay fastened to the receiver.
Domes are vulnerable to becoming damaged from moisture or wax in the ear. The small size could be an issue for individuals with dexterity problems.
Proper Fitting is Vital to Hearing Well
Work with a hearing healthcare professional, or a hearing instrument specialist, to find the device that suits your hearing needs. An incorrect fitting can alter your capacity to hear distinct sounds, and it can cause irritation.
If you, or a loved one, suffer from hearing loss and need hearing aids, get a proper fitting with one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing Aids. We offer discount hearing aids in a variety of brands!