An ear mold is a piece of acrylic plastic or other soft material moulded to precisely fit in the ear and to deliver the sound from a BTE hearing aid. When an individual suffering from hearing loss chooses a behind the ear hearing aid design, customized earmolds are frequently needed to ensure proper fit and performance.
At ‘Priority’ our audiologist makes an impression of the empty parts of your outer ear and ear canal using a quick drying (usually) silicone impression material. The impression is sent to a lab, which then creates an ear mold which will fit into your ear.
The styles of earmolds can vary and the style you choose depends on the type of hearing loss you suffer from and the design of the hearing aid you have. Ear molds are usually clear or frosted, but many hearing aid users now select brightly colored or decorative ear molds. Some designs are meant to make the ear molds less visible, and some are meant to make them more
Types of Earmolds
1. Dome-style Molds Dome-style and soft earmolds are often combined with behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing devices and are placed in the ear canal. A BTE aid, which is worn behind the user’s ear, transmits audio to the earmold by way of a flexible and thin tube.
2. Canal Earmolds
Canal earmolds are similar to earmolds with dome-fashioned designs. These molds are made from the ear canal impressions and are designed to look inconspicuous. They also offer a customized fit and good audio retention for the wearer. The patient needs to have a fairly long ear canal for the mold to fit precisely inside. No part of the mold extends inside the concha bowl. Instead, the piece is completely fitted within the ear canal.
3. Full-shell Earmolds
Full-shell earmolds are designed to supply optimum hearing aid retention. They are sculpted to look natural and are really popular among hearing aid patients. They prevent annoying feedback and are recommended for moderate to severe loss of hearing.
4. Skeleton Earmolds
Skeleton earmolds are designed with cosmetic enhancement in mind. The molds, which feature a back ring, supply maximum comfort. A rim of material is used to hold the mold within the concha and create an effective seal. In addition, skeleton earmolds are made for people suffering from mild to severe hearing loss.
6. Half-shell Earmolds
Earmolds that are called half-shell molds are sculpted like full-shell molds; however, the material that is used in half-shell earmolds is cut and designed to cover the concha bowl’s bottom half. Patients who choose this mold need to have adequate ear retention. Moreover, individuals suffering from mild hearing loss often opt for these kinds of molds.
Non-hearing aid users may use earmolds, too. Custom earmolds 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 which blocks most noise while still allowing the wearer to understand speech.