Updated: May 23
Just in the past 6 weeks, I helped two patients who were wearing earmoulds and stopped it right there in the fitting session. Continue reading to learn if should you keep using your hearing aids, or if you should kiss them goodbye.
Why do some patients need ear mould?
No one is a big fan of ear moulds. Often they are the most visible part of the hearing aid fitting. Based on one or a few of the following reasons your audiologist may decide to suggest ear moulds for fitting your hearing aids:
Your hearing loss is severe to profound in the low to mid frequencies. In such a case the hearing aid will pump a lot of energy into your ear canal, often the seal provided by power domes is not strong enough to stop the sound from leaking out. The result is that the hearing aid starts whistling if fitted with power domes. Depending on the profile of your hearing loss using feedback-control techniques to reduce the gain of the hearing aid at the scaping frequencies of the sound may work but might become counter-beneficial as the patient might receive lower than needed gains in some frequencies.
The fitting with domes does not hold in your ear canal. We call this a retention problem. It could be due to a very narrow hearing canal, or simply the specific shape of your email canal. After all, not two people have the same ear canal. Ear moulds in this case could help retention of the tip of the tube in the ear canal.
The patient has difficulty with motor skills. Often people with dexterity issues or arthritis could benefit from ear mould as it really helps with the placement and removal of hearing aids.
The patients that I helped both were young, one in her 30s and the other one in his 40s. One with bilateral hearing loss, and the other one with bilateral hearing loss, both had incidents in childhood resulting in severe hearing loss and since then they have been using hearing aids on ear moulds.
The simple trick was to try thin tubes with different power and closed domes and try the feedback control to see if there would be any loss in the gain due to feedback control, and if any, how bad it would affect the overall speech spectrum.
Both patients were fitted with the right size and shape power dome, tried the new fitting without earmould for 2 weeks in different soundscapes and at the rehab session decided that this sounds awesome and felt even more awesome!
There are several types of ear moulds that each serve a specific purpose. If you wear ear mould and are interested to discuss this further or have a question, please leave a comment at the bottom of this page.
What are alternate options to earmould?
If you have moderate to severe to profound hearing loss and your audiologist has suggested earmould and you are not happy with the earmould then there is a piece of good news for you. The industry has offered a few options for stylish, rechargeable ITC and ITE hearing aids that can cover moderate to profound hearing loss.
Just in late 2022, Resound Gn introduced Custom Made by Resound (below picture). The engine of the sound processor is Resound's award-winning Resoud One processor. The hearing aid is rechargeable, Bluetooth-ready, IP68 (highly resistant to water and dust, and quite stylish. This is a game changer for young (and older) patients who are looking for a solution to replace their earmould with a hearing aid that supports an active lifestyle, is stylish and offers rechargeable Bluetooth options, an all-in-one body.