What's the deal with tulip domes

Ok, so I can see I’m going to relate to hearing aids (I’m in my second month wearing) like I do driving…without knowing much about what’s under the hood.

But, in setting up my aids, my audiologist perceived the need to have a tulip dome on the right, as she set up the constraints of the software, to minimize something like feedback. And, indeed, in my tv program, with the volume up, even with the tulip, I got some feedback there on the right side with my Bernafon Acriva’s until she did a minor adjustment.

The tulips do feel marginally more obtrusive in my ear, such that I’d really rather not have it. Also, though, I’m learning about the notion of what I can tolerate with respect to the expected benefit. So, for example, on my left ear, whereas I did orginally request to go down from an 8 milimeter to a 6 milimeter for comfort, with it popping out twice in the first 3 weeks, I requested the 8 milimeter back. Really, I prefer the feel of 6 better…but I think it’s all about what works, right?

Anyway, any simple advice about why a tulip would help where a standard 8 milimeter dome would be less appropriate…for either my hearing profile…or in general…would be appreciated.


Ira Z/Regular Guy

The tulip domes are not quite as open as “open” domes, so they help reduce the chance of feedback. I’ve found them to be very comfortable and pretty good at staying in, and if I could still wear them I would be. I had to go with a custom mold because my hearing dropped (about 100 now on the high end), went to a power receiver, and it was thought the tulips would have more trouble with feedback than a custom mold. The problem with a mold is that you feel more occluded (stopped up, the feeling when you put your fingers in your ears).

With your hearing test results, I would expect you to be able to wear fully open domes, the most comfortable and open, without any feedback. Did your pro do any kind of feedback processing and setup. Mine has me face the speaker with hearing aids in and connected to the computer, be quiet and still, and it issues some static, humming sounds for a few seconds.

Don, thanks for getting back. I guess everything’s somewhat relative, as the tulips do make for a feeling of somewhat occluded.

I think my audi did what you describe. I did start out with the 8 milimeter open dome, but based on some kind of visual she saw as she ran a test, in terms of…where outlines were presenting on a screen (seems like she was trying to get a line between some curves…it was like 7 weeks ago now)…she did the modification to the tulip on the right hand side, where my hearing isn’t generally as strong as my left.

Ira Z.

As someone who has always worn full custom molds, with no vent, I can assure, occlusion can be compensated for and gotten used to.

So, I’m still learning the ropes.

I’d let the question of tulips go until recently, when I got some advice…similar to what Don noted above, and the suggestion was made to me that with my hearing loss…I really shouldn’t need a tulip. I first asked my original audi about this. Her memory didn’t seem strong on the cause for the move to tulips, but she sees so many patients. I suggested the software seemed to drive the decision. This particular audi has both a reduced staff at Costco, and also, a high demand, so wouldn’t be able to see me before my 3 months pass after which I keep these aids. She’d have to research maybe whether the 3 month timeline is fungible. But, she encouraged me to try another Costco, that I do happen to live nearer to. Also, she encouraged me to experiment, and put an open dome where I have a tulip. This also represents the first time I remove my own domes…despite my having been encouraged to do this with some frequency. So, now I’m out and about, wearing the open domes instead of the software recommended tulip for my right ear (matching the left ear, already with an open dome).

I did go to see a tech I had begun with at a different Costo. Though I was initially guarded about his making other changes (I should write separately about that), he does. He thinks it’s fine I wear open domes, and really saw no basis (himself) for the original direction to tulips. Also, he moves my settings from “new user” to “experienced user.” I’d not been warned about this previously, but he said…well, I’m an experienced user now, so seems like that would be right to do now. And, I’m off and running.

Except, I forget to experiment with the programs while I’m there. When I do, back at home, moving to the TV program, I get big feedback from the right hearing aid. On my own, experiment replacing the open dome with the tulip, and yes…the tulip completely cuts the feedback. And…the feedback is crazy big. But, I’m not often in TV mode. So, I move back to open domes. And, I have a new appointment with this same tech #2, to review this discovered feedback experience.

I hope he’ll know what changes to make so that I can: a) keep the open dome (I do prefer it…it feels less occluding), b) use the TV program without feedback.

Overall, I think the Acriva’s are fine. And, probably like anyone, I like to minimize unnecessary change. I suspect this will go towards some adjustments that will allow the open domes. Whether I’ll be able to keep the tv program remains to be seen. One other odd side effect, too, is that my tv streamer, which I don’t use often, seems to be less helpful now than it had been, also, which I might have hoped would mitigate the issue with the TV Program, but somehow, like I said, as I checked out my experience with the streamer, post adjustments…that just didn’t help too much.

Thanks everybody; insights welcome. Otherwise, happy to share my experience, as I’m now just shy of two weeks with these HAs being mine. Overall, they do seem to be doing their job. I’m probably a bit over involved with them. But, I’m guessing anyone who spends any time on a board dedicating to hearing issues will at least be sympathetic.

All best,

Ira Z/Regular Guy