Hearing Aid Earmolds 101
Hearing loss is as unique as the shape of a person’s ears. Being able to hear is important. Whether you can manage with a standard hearing aid or require a customized earmold, wearing hearing aids that properly fit can make a huge difference in how you absorb your environment.
Key Facts about Hearing Aid Earmolds
The hearing aid receiver is the part of the device that rests inside the ear canals. They are available in two different styles: domes or earmolds.
Hearing aid domes resemble a small cone shape. They come in standard sizes, rather than customized sizes. Hearing aid users will be provided with the domes that best fit their ear canals. If it feels uncomfortable, you may try a different size. The domes feature large openings that will harness natural sounds and provide ventilation.
Earmolds are comprised of plastic or silicone. They are custom-fit in order to rest close and comfortably in the ear canal. There are usually small air vents featured on them.
Why are Earmolds used with Hearing Aids?
If you find it difficult to hear low, most, or all frequencies (this is called flat hearing loss), an earmold can make sounds easier and more pleasant to hear because they rest securely in the ear. A secure and comfortable fit will stop amplified sound from seeping out of the ear canal and cause a feedback noise - the loud whistling noise that occurs as a result of sounds that leak and become re-amplified. Individuals with severe to profound hearing loss typically use earmolds.
Earmolds are best for any range of hearing loss. Any long-time hearing aid user might prefer wearing an earmold style, whereas new hearing aid users tend to choose hearing aid domes because they feel more comfortable, have less occlusion, and are easier to change out.
Everyone is different. Have a discussion with your hearing instrument specialist so that they can make custom earmolds or provide standard domes for your hearing aids.
Those with high-frequency hearing loss (who have trouble hearing high-pitched sounds like children’s voices) usually wear dome-style hearing aids.
Proper Hearing Aid Fit
As mentioned earlier, ear shapes are unique, therefore it’s important to have a professional hearing instrument specialist customize an earmold in order to securely fit your individual ear shape. They need to be comfortable and tight enough to stop sounds from leaking out and causing feedback noise, but not too tight to the point where it feels painful to wear.
Customizing a hearing aid is simple. The process requires creating an impression of your ear canal and the outer ear using a soft molding composite, similar to how a dentist makes an impression of your teeth.
Common Dilemmas with Earmolds
Earmolds may still require additional adjustments after the impression has been made. Ears change in shape and size as you age, so a lot of earmolds are composed of soft materials that can be adjusted by your hearing instrument specialist.
Repairing Problems with Earmolds
Here are some typical problems that earmold users encounter:
Earmolds used as Earplugs
People who don’t wear hearing aids can wear earmolds. Custom earplugs and earmolds can be used to protect your hearing health from loud noise exposure. Musicians, professional football players, and race car drivers wear earmolds that feature an acoustic chamber that obstructs most noise while letting the wearer understand speech sounds. Swimmers wear special earmolds that prevent water from entering their ears. Talk to our hearing instrument specialists if you’re interested in getting custom earmolds.
The earmold is a crucial detail of your hearing aids. Just like with standard domes, the earmold should be wiped down with professional cleaning wipes before getting ready to sleep. If you notice any debris in the openings or tubing of the earmold, properly clean them by applying the instructions that your hearing aid provider gave you. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact them.
If you have any problems with your hearing aids, need a new pair of hearing aids, or are overdue for a hearing test, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing.
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