Custom ear molds are an essential part of fitting hearing aids for individuals with hearing loss. These molds are created using impressions of the wearer’s ear, ensuring a comfortable and secure fit that maximizes the performance of the hearing aid. They are available in a variety of styles and materials to accommodate specific needs and preferences.
Properly fitted custom ear molds can significantly improve the effectiveness of hearing aids and enhance the overall hearing experience.
Ear Molds 101
Hearing aids come in two basic styles: earmold or dome style. Earmolds are made of either plastic or silicone and custom-fit so that they sit snugly and precisely within the ear canal. They generally have small vents in them to let air through.
Dome style ear plugs are designed to fit most people’s ears without any customization. Dome-style ear plugs are typically stocked in standard sizes and there is a good chance that you will be given the size that fits best for your ear canal. These types of ear plugs do not have to be expensive, which makes them an affordable option.
What size of earmold should you buy? That depends on your type and degree of hearing loss as well as your anatomy – there are three different sizes available: canal size (small), half-shell size (medium) or full-shell size (large). The type of earmold you wear is also dependent on personal preference, the shape and texture of your ear, and your specific hearing aid.
Earmolds for hearing loss
Hearing loss is a thing that becomes more common as you age. Some people experience hearing problems at higher frequencies, while others have trouble with lower frequencies or across the whole spectrum of sound. For those who are having trouble hearing children’s voices, earmolds can be an adequate solution. But if you’re experiencing difficulties in low ranges or across all ranges, dome-style hearing aids will do better because they fit tightly inside your ear canal and keep amplified noise from escaping.
Earmolds are a popular style for hearing loss because they can be used across the entire speech spectrum, but some people who have already been using hearing aids may prefer earmolds. First-time hearing aid users usually go with domes because they’re more comfortable and easy to change if necessary.
Ear molds: A Good Fit
There’s a whole world of shapes and sizes for ears, which is why it’s important to have them customized by a healthcare professional who can make you an earmold that will fit your unique shape. They must be tight enough to prevent sound from leaking out and creating feedback—but not so tight they cause pain.
If you’re looking for a trusted audiology clinic in Fort Wayne Indiana to help you with your ear mold concerns – or any other hearing concern for that matter, HearCare Audiology is the place to go.
If you have sensitive ears and are worried about the process of getting an ear mold, rest assured that most people report having minimal pain during this process. The doctor will use a soft compound to make an impression of your ear canal. This is done in such a way that it doesn’t block the eardrum or outer ear. It might be uncomfortable for some, but no more so than getting dental impressions done.
Common earmold issues
In order to make the best of earmolds, it is important to follow your hearing care professional’s instructions for fitting them correctly and scheduling an annual check-up. This will help ensure better protection from future hearing loss.
We will check the quality of your earmold on a regular basis, making sure that it still fits correctly and allows for maximum hearing ability.
Muffled voices: The muffled sound of your voice might be caused by the earmold. It’s a common occurrence when you have a cold, but it can also happen for those who don’t.
The occlusion effect in the earmold is typically managed with hearing aid circuit changes or modifications.
Own voice is too loud: Some users may find that it is difficult to hear their own voice. The sound of the voice is amplified by a hearing aid, and can be too loud for those nearby. If you are having trouble balancing your speech volume, there may be something wrong with your earmold vent size.
A common misconception about hearing aids is that they amplify all sounds to the same degree. In reality, when a person speaks loudly in front of others, they often have difficulty listening to themselves speak as well as others; this means that one’s own voice will sound distorted or dangerously loud if they are not wearing an appropriately sized vent on their earmold.
Feedback or whistling: Sound can leak through the earmold and cause a high-pitched whine, but with a little help from your hearing healthcare professional it’s something you don’t have to worry about. A simple attachment called a canal lock is all that is needed to create an airtight seal in your ear molds and stop feedback.
Custom Ear Molds
You’ve heard it before, but hearing protection is truly necessary for anyone who experiences loud noise. Custom ear molds can protect you from the damaging effects of external noise.
HearCare Audiology offers a variety of custom ear molds including swim ear plugs, musician’s ear plugs, hearing protection, and headphones for smartphones and MP3 players.
Ear molds for noise exposure
Custom earmolds for sound protection are a great way to protect your hearing from loud sounds at work or at play. Musicians, stock car racers and even some professional football teams use earmolds with an acoustical chamber that blocks most noise while still allowing the wearer to understand speech. Some swimmers use specialized earmolds designed to keep water out of their ears.
How are custom ear molds made?
At the fitting appointment, an audiologist will take impressions of your ears using cotton and a special material. Your ears will be filled with a hardening soft substance that is gently syringed in the ear. The process is quick and painless, probably won’t take up to 5 minutes.
Once the impressions are made, they are hardened and then removed from your ears. The custom ear plugs or hearing protection will be designed specifically for your needs.
Taking care of your ear molds
The earmold is an important part of a hearing instrument. If it’s not clean, then you won’t have the best experience with your ears. Clean it each night before bed and contact your hearing care provider right away if you notice that your device is not functioning as it should. If there is debris in the earmold openings or in tubing that runs through it, make sure to wipe this out as instructed by your hearing care practitioner.
If your hearing has changed or you suspect you may have hearing loss, make an appointment to have your hearing evaluated. If you are in Fort Wayne Indiana and are looking for a hearing center that can link you to experts in the industry, our team at HearCare Audiology will be happy to see you.
Ear Molds Indiana – HearCare Audiology
HearCare Audiology works one on one with patients, examining their current hearing abilities to understand their unique individual needs. Our team strives to give patients the perfect match when it comes to hearing accessories, ensuring that patients get the best hearing accessories to match their lifestyle and preferences.
Contact us today to learn more about custom ear molds and other hearing solutions available at our clinic!