Everyone’s ears are uniquely in shaped. Custom-made hearing devices can make a huge impact on your hearing abilities.
The Fundamentals of Hearing Aid Earmolds
Components of a hearing aid device that rest inside your ear are available in two styles: earmold or dome. Earmolds are shaped from either plastic or silicone, and they are custom-made in order to fit accurately and securely inside the ear canal. They typically have small holes used as ventilation to let air pass through.
Domes, which are shaped like small cones, at not custom-made for a wearer’s ears. There are standard sizes, and you are provided with the dome sizes that comfortably fit in your ear canal. The domes have large holes in order to let sounds and air circulation pass through.
An earmold can be the size of your ear canal (small), half-shell size (medium), or full-shell size (large). The type and severity of hearing loss, in addition to the shape of the ear would determine which earmold size you would need. The type of earmold that you would use, also depends on your personal choice, the structure and texture of your ear, and the type of hearing aid that you have.
Why are Earmolds used for Hearing Loss?
Dome-style hearing aids are helpful for those who have high-frequency hearing loss (when it’s difficult to hear higher-pitched sounds).
Earmolds are beneficial to those who have difficulty hearing low frequency sounds, or all ranges of frequencies. They fit comfortably inside the ear. This snug fit stops amplified sound from traveling out of the canal and causing a feedback loop -- the high-pitched whistling noise that occurs when amplified sound leak and get re-amplified.
Ears come in a range of different shapes and sizes. Please have a hearing instrument specialist select a customized earmold that will fit in your ear. These earmolds may rest close enough to the ear to prevent sound from leaking out and creating feedback - but not so tight that they feel painful when wearing them.
Customizing a hearing aid consists of creating a mold of your ear canal and the outer ear. This is done by using a soft molding mixture, similar to the way a dentist would make a mold out of your teeth.
Typical Issues with Earmolds
Earmolds still might need to be adjusted to comfortably fit the wearer. Because the shape of everyone’s ears change as they age, most earmolds are created from softer material. Your hearing instrument specialist should check your earmold during your appointment, to make sure it fits correctly.
Frequent problems that earmold wearers may experience:
Earmolds used for Protecting Exposure to Noise
Those who do not wear hearing aids may also use earmolds. Custom earmolds can be used to protect your hearing health from loud sounds. Musicians, race car drivers, and some football players wear earmolds that feature an acoustical chamber. This chamber intercepts most noises while letting the wearer comprehend speech. Swimmers may wear specially designed earmolds that blocks water from entering their ear canals.
Caring for Your Earmolds
The earmold is a vital component of a hearing aid. You should wipe it clean every night before going to bed, and talk to your hearing instrument specialist if there are any issues or feelings of irritation when wearing them. Any debris found on the opening of the earmold, or in the tubing, should be cleaned as instructed by your hearing instrument specialist.
If you, or a loved one, have experienced a shift in your hearing health, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.