by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
A lady explained,
I am wearing open-fit hearing aids and the rubber dome sometimes comes off and gets lodged in my ear. I have gone to the emergency room at our nearest hospital but they are not equipped with the proper tools to help me. I’ve had to wait for days to see an ENT to have this thing removed. I have called the people who sold me the aids and they are not equipped to help me either. Is there a tool that I can purchase so that I can take it to the emergency room and have them safely remove the dome?
It is a frustrating event and no one seems to know why this happens. Have any of your clients experienced this?
Yes, there are specialized tools for removing these domes and wax from a person’s ears, although only doctors (ENTs) and specially licensed audiologists and hearing aid dispensers are allowed to use them.
However, the domes should never accidentally come off in your ears in the first place! If they are doing this, something is wrong. There are two likely possibilities.
First, the domes are not being installed properly. They need to be pushed on the shaft “all the way”, meaning until the number on the tube or receiver is covered completely, or they can’t go on any further. If the domes are not pushed on properly, they can fall off. Good audiologists/hearing aid dispensers do not have their domes fall off.
Second, domes are one-time-use items. If you or your dispenser take a dome off to clean it, or to replace the wax guard, the dome must be thrown away and a new one used—even if the dome still looks like new. This is because the dome stretches to fit on the receiver or tube. If you reuse a dome once it has been stretched, it won’t fit tightly again and will fall off eventually.
Thus, the solution to your domes coming off is only use new domes and push them on “all the way”. Do this and you should not have this problem in the future.