How Do Hearing Aid Domes Influence the Sound Quality?
People have encountered hearing loss for centuries and have been looking for various ways to find the right means to help them hear better since then. They eventually hit a gold mine and came up with hearing aids. Over years, hearing aids have gotten smaller and more compact to ensure that users receive the best possible support.
Modern hearing aids now provide higher sound quality than ever before thanks to digital amplifiers. In order for us to hear the benefits of the modern amplifiers, the sound needs to be brought into the ears in an appropriate way based on your hearing test results. Behind the ear hearing aids have become some of the most popular models and are commonly using domes to allow a good fit, quickly. Today, we’ll talk about different styles and purposes of hearing aid domes, let’s dive in!
What Are Hearing Aid Domes?
Domes are mushroom-shaped silicone parts that are mounted to the receiver and they fit deep in the ear canal. Their function is to protect a small speaker that sends sound deep into the ear canal. They are available in a variety of shapes and sizes to match the specific twists and curves of each ear canal.
Domes are used with the category of hearing aids that are typically the Reciever In Canal (RIC), Behind-The-Ear (BTE) or in one particular case, a small Completely-In-Canal (CIC) model. The domes act as a suspension in the ear canal to prevent the firm plastic of the reciever to touch the sensitive canal wall, and they create enough of a seal in the ear to allow the hearing aid to deliver enough sound to the individual.
3 Styles of Hearing Aid Domes
Hearing aid domes come in three different styles, each of which influences the overall sound quality:
- Open dome — typically used for people with normal low frequency hearing and up to a moderate high-frequency hearing loss.
This style of the dome allows a good deal of natural sound from the environment in while allowing the mid to high frequency hearing loss to be accommodated. This results in a comfortable and improved sound quality and sharpness. With open domes, there are large vents or holes around the edge of the dome. The purpose of these holes is to allow sound to enter unimpeded, and let the low frequency vibrations (occusion) that our voices produce, out. The downside is that open domes are the most susceptible to feedback (whistle).
- Closed dome — Typically used for people with mild to moderately-severe hearing loss.
Unlike open domes, this style has much smaller, or no holes at all. It reduces and mostly prevents squealing and feedback. Closed domes assist when trying to amplify low-frequency sounds and block more of the ear canal than open domes. The net benefit to a more closed dome is a louder sense of the low frequencies which are needed when there is more of a hearing loss.
- Power dome — Typically this dome is used with moderate to severe hearing loss.
This dome has no venting and typically seals the ear canal completely. As the name suggests, it is used when a more significant level of amplification is needed. As a result of the absence of venting, the ear canal becomes obstructed. This style has very minimal feedback and gives the person the most amount of amplification.
Hearing aids fitted with domes have several advantages. Offering a near-instant fitting, overall comfort, and excellent cosmetic appeal. Choosing the right dome is critical to getting a satisfactory experience with your hearing aids.
Sizes of Hearing Aid Domes
There are a variety of sizes and styles of domes available, so it’s critical to obtain a professional fitting from a specialist to ensure a suitable fit for maximum benefit with your hearing aids.
Typically, the hearing care professional who fits the hearing aids will choose the appropriate dome size to guarantee an optimal fit. The dome should be somewhat larger than the ear canal to make a secure seal, but it shouldn’t put significant pressure on the ear canal’s skin. A perfect fit also ensures that you get the most out of your hearing aids; otherwise, noises may seep out and the devices may become ineffective. Wearing the suitable dome in the right size and shape ensures that you can insert them into your ears property and your devices work the way they should.
- Excessively large — Hearing aid domes that are overly large, rarely go into the ear canal very deep or at all. If you do manage to get them in, they quickly become uncomfortable in the ear. If left like this, it may cause a pressure sore.
- Too small — When the domes are too small, hearing aid domes do not exert any resistance and may not even deliver the necessary sound. The likelihood of the hearing aid falling out of your ear without you noticing becomes very high.
Hearing aid domes are, by nature, a replaceable part. You need to replace them every two to three months or as needed based on a visual assessment. The domes are a part of your hearing aids wax protection, and become a sacrificial part should they get blocked with wax. You can talk to your hearing aid provider about how often you should replace your domes and how to care for your hearing aids properly. Should a dome get stuck in you ear canal, you should not try and remove the dome from your ears on your own. It could result in the domes being pushed even further into the canals, potentially causing harm in your ear canal.
Tips When Choosing Hearing Aid Domes
Here are 3 essential points you need to consider when selecting a hearing aid dome for your needs. Let’s dive deeper!
- Comfort — Sometimes you need to try the dome in your ear to determine how it feels. It shouldn’t be too big or too small.
- Level of Hearing Loss — The programming of your hearing aids can only successfully be done when all the parameters are correct. The right fit and the right sound gets you great results.
- Size and Feedback — A badly fitted dome will leave you quite unsatisfied in all aspects. Avoid this and get properly sized domes.
Properly fitted hearing aids with domes are highly appealing because they are comfortable to wear, are very discreet and offer many beneficial features which make hearing well a much easier task. That’s why they are so popular and their users feel more confident with these devices.
We hope that you found this explanation of hearing aid domes to have been helpful. Keep checking our blog regularly for up-to-date information about hearing aids and hearing related issues. And when you are ready to discuss your hearing aids, our team is here to help you make the right choice. Stay healthy and active!