I recently got my first hearing aids, the Phonak Audeo Lumity 50’s. I was given the medium sized vented domes which are basically closed domes with small vents. I was wondering if I should try the open domes since I do not have much of a lower frequency hearing loss. I used ZipHearing.com and had to go 30+ miles to a hearing aid instrument specialist. He is not an Audiologist. What are your thoughts?
Yes and no.
Open domes might sound more natural; better initial acceptance, possibly less fatigue etc.
Closed (vented) dome: better amplification, improved speech in noise, less feedback and fewer low frequency phase issues.
I ordered some open domes from ebay and will just try them out to see which ones I prefer. I have a small issue with my left ear, fitting the dome in so it does not fall back out of my ear canal.
This response is so helpful. Thanks
But in addition to changing your dome style, you will need a new fitting session to change the acoustics, right?
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I have no idea.
In my opinion the single most important thing is comfort not audio efficiency. The best HA is no good if it does not fit or falls out. You have done exactly the right thing, try different domes.
Whether you need the aids retuning would be up to you. For example, my aids were tuned to 50% volume; I can then increase or decrease the volume to suit. If your new domes meant that you had to set the volume higher (or lower) then a retune to reset the 50% level might be required (if you noticed a difference).
My Audi let me try vented domes after I found the original power domes became uncomfortable after 10 hours or so. Initially it was just the right ear I tried. It worked and I realised the left ear with the power dome was now uncomfortable.
I now wear my aids every day for 15-16 hours and have to remember to remove them before taking a shower.
IMHO, the best thing is a custom-fitted mold with something like Select-A-Vent. The mold is made to the shape of your ear so it should fit ~perfectly, unlike a dome that you may have to squash into your ear. And you, in conjunction with your HCP, can adjust the size of the vent, and as PVC points out, make appropriate changes in your fitting algorithm. That allows you to experiment between the pros and cons that um_bongo pointed out for an open fit vs. a closed fit. Custom molds can cost from $50 to $100 or more each, depending on where you get them done. Forum users have usually quoted the lower price range in association with Costco. And my local Costco told me, for instance, that for ReSound HA’s, the molds would be done by ReSound, IIRC - which I might not be doing! So if that were so, the same might be true for Phonak, Phillips, etc., at Costco.
Has anyone required different size domes for their left vs. right ear. I find it a little more troublesome getting my left dome in.
Yes, and to an extent it worked. Power dome in one and vented in the other. However I still felt some discomfort with the power dome and now use the smallest vented in each.
I have used ear molds for about 17 years. Quite right that each is unique and indeed costs more than domes. My first set were clear, hard acrylic. Of course they fitted perfectly however that perfect fit only applied when my ears were at the same temperature as when the moulds were made. My ears got hot and they hurt. I got some relief by pressing and juggling the aid. Over the years I then got a series of softer moulds, these all started translucent. The worst became discoloured with ear wax.
When I got domes the relief was huge. I would not go back to moulds.
That said, the moulds supposedly are superior for audio.
As I said, comfort first.
You might find you get feedback going from closed domes to open domes without changing the settings on the software for your hearing aids.
Less likely to get feedback if you have open domes and go to closed domes without changing the settings on the software.
The issue of various types of domes vs. molds has been discussed lots in the past on the forum. If you look at past discussions, a decided majority of HA’s users, once they bite the bullet on the effort and cost of acquiring molds, end up preferring the custom fit to the non-custom fit of domes - and often cite improved hearing from the ability to control vent size, etc., which you don’t have with domes (how can you control how they might get squished in your uniquely-shaped ear canals?). I’ve had silicone molds made by ReSound for almost four years now and they’ve held up very well. As far as discoloration or anything like that, what does it matter if they’re effectively hidden in your ear canals (if you need an earlock, things might be different).
IMHO, a decided advantage of custom molds is the receiver openings are sufficiently recessed in the mold bores that wax rarely if ever gets in the receiver openings. My wax guards usually look very clean, but I still change them once a month anyway. So, IMHO, if you have waxy ear canals (and I do), you’ll enjoy better, clearer hearing throughout the day just on that account.
Open domes would not typically be my preference for a 40 dB hearing loss at 1 kHz, though the size of the ear canal matters.
In your case Jim that would be true.
It’s also true that the majority (90%) of mild sloping losses in the population we see are fitted with RIC and a standard dome.
The step here is from fully open to a closed. That’s going to depend on the client’s interpretation of occlusion, the feedback manager, the shape of the canal and the gain averaging in the fitting algorithm.
Perhaps I should have expressed the majority sentiment as “for those users on the forum who have tried molds vs. domes, the majority, in past posts, have seemed to prefer molds…” And we are a select group. Maybe the average loss of users on the forum is greater than in the HOH spectrum in general and more suited for molds. And perhaps many of us are more “techie” oriented and willing to try things that might seem more complicated and are more expensive. Domes are easy to fit and offer an easy variety of vent options - I had fun running through the gamut. But it was reading the expressions of users on the forum who had switched to molds that made me want to try those and I’m glad I did.
Agreed: people on this forum are in fairness way more motivated than an ‘average’ customer (probably with greater losses too), so seeking a ‘fixed’ solution makes sense.
Domes are massive within the industry though: especially with the push to fit milder losses and the national chains wanting same day fittings.
I highly recommend AOV (Acoustically Optimized Ventilation) cShells from Phonak. You need obtain the most recent audiogram from fitted ear to get the proper optimized vent by Phonak.
I have an experience with no-vented as well as 3 mm diameter ventilation domes and I think the AOV domes (AOV cShell) is the best option.
hello, I have a question to which please answer me. I just bought a phonak lumity device, and my audiologist recommends power domes for my type of audiogram. the problem is that, when I fix domes in my ears, I have the sensation of a clogged ear. to get rid of this feeling, I have to take them outside very little. at the same time, I hear the words quite clearly but a bit strongly, which sometimes tires me. the audiologist insists that they are the most suitable for my hearing loss, but I don’t feel comfortable. From what I read on the internet, I saw that the power domes are for severe loss. what could I do to change this situation? thank you for any answer.
You could always get some ‘similar’ domes from a large online seller and try a few alternatives.
Fwiw, we’re currently liking the Starkey ‘mushroom’ domes which are a bit thicker than typical, but have some reasonable vents.