The Hearing Aid Dome
Domes are tiny, malleable, bell or mushroom-shaped silicone parts that are connected to the end of hearing aid tubing and rest deep inside the ear canal. These are also known as tips.
After the domes on hearing aids are inserted inside the ear, once the hearing aids are on, they transfer sounds from the microphone, into your ears.
The dome is meant to secure the small speakers that transfer sounds to the ears. They are available in various standard sizes to fit a person’s unique ear shape.
Domes are generally paired with behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids, which are also called receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) or receiver in the ear (RITE). Domes are attached to the hearing aids through a wire surrounded by a thin tube. These are available in various sizes. Your hearing instrument specialist can find the right dome and tubing that’s customized for your ears.
These hearing aid styles place the speaker inside the ear canal, while the processor and microphone rest over the top of the ear.
Should You use a Hearing Aid Dome?
Hearing aids that feature domes are primarily used by patients with mild-to-moderate hearing loss, particularly those who have high-frequency hearing loss.
These hearing aid styles are usually small. They feature a microphone and processor inside a small case and sit behind the ear. The speaker is connected to the processor through a thin tube or wire that sits behind the ear.
This hearing aid style should not be worn by anyone with severe-to-profound hearing loss. A behind-the-ear (BTE) device that has an earmold would be more appropriate. A customized earmold has powerful amplification and is less likely to become damaged from moisture in the ear canal.
Everyone is different, so personal preferences will vary from person to person.
What are the Positive and Negative Characteristics of Hearing Aid Domes?
An advantage of using hearing aid domes is the way it fits in your ear canals. Low-frequency sounds can still be heard through an “open fit”.
Hearing aids need to be vented so that ears don’t become occluded. Natural sounds and airflow must travel through the ear in order for sounds to be pleasant and comprehensible.
Cleaning domes is a breeze. Simply use a soft cloth to wipe them off at the end of the day. If there’s debris or earwax on them, you can use a loop brush or professional strength hearing aid cleaning wipes. These can be purchased at our Pure Sound Hearing offices.
Hearing aid manufacturers have the same sizes and styles of domes, so replacing them is inexpensive.
Hearing aid domes need to be changed at least every two to three months due to wear and tear. It is possible to get a dome stuck in your ear, so it’s important to be aware of this and be careful.
Discuss the frequency of changing out the domes and maintenance. DO NOT wear old domes with new hearing aids. They may not be compatible and could get stuck in your ears if they cannot remain fastened to the receiver.
Domes are also prone to damage caused by earwax or moisture in the ear. They may also be tricky to handle due to their size and a person’s dexterity problems.
Work with a Professional Hearing Instrument Specialist
Get help from a hearing instrument specialist (HIS). They are highly trained to address a patient’s hearing aid needs. A poor fit can impact your ability to hear clearly, and comfort levels while wearing the hearing aids. Feedback noises can also occur due to a poor fit hearing aid. Everyone has a unique ear shape and range of hearing loss, so a HIS will be able to tweak and program an individual’s device to correspond with their particular listening needs.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss and need a hearing test, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.