At a certain point, hearing loss may be classified as a disability. For
What Are Earmolds, and How Do They Work?
An earmold refers to the part of the hearing aid that fits inside the ear. They are made of either plastic or silicone and are custom-made to the individual’s hearing type. Read on to find out more about the benefits of earmolds, and how they help to improve moderate to severe hearing loss.
What Is an Earmold?
An earmold is the part of the hearing aid that sits in the ear. They also sweep back behind the outer ear and are custom-made to suit the individual’s ear requirements. Molds that do not come custom-made are called domes. Domes are sold in set sizes, and your audiologist will provide you with one that best fits the shape of your ear. Your audiologist will also advise on whether a dome or earmold is better for you.
How Can Earmolds Help with Hearing?
Earmolds help those with hearing loss at low frequencies, or across all frequencies. This is because they fit snugly within the ear, which helps reduce the chances that the amplified sound will exit the ear canal. When sounds enter and exit the ear due to a poorly fitting hearing aid, this can cause a feedback loop, resulting in the high-pitched whining tone commonly associated with a microphone.
How Does an Earmold Work?
Earmolds reduce the escape of sound from the ear and the interference of outside low-frequency noises. This helps to make sounds louder and means those with difficulty hearing at low frequencies can pick up incoming noises into the ear. It is also recommended for those with more moderate or severe hearing loss due to the power of the earmold in improving hearing.
When Should I Consider a Dome Instead of an Earmold?
If you have high-pitched frequency hearing loss, a dome might be better for you. This is because a dome is specially designed for higher pitches, and it lets in lots of natural noises and outside sounds as a part of improving the user’s hearing. If you have mild hearing loss, a dome may also be sufficient for your needs, and an earmold may not be required.
What Are the Different Types of Earmold?
There are three types of earmold: canal size, half shell and full shell. The type of shell you will need depends on the type of hearing loss you have.
How Is an Earmold Made?
An earmold is made by using a soft molding compound, which looks like putty. It is very similar to what dentists use to make an impression of your teeth. Your audiologist will take a mold of your ear canal and outer ear during an appointment if you need an earmold. In subsequent appointments, they will then ensure it is fitted correctly and will talk you through how to operate your hearing instrument.
What Do I Do If I Have Difficulty with My Earmold?
If you think you are having issues with your earmold, talk to your audiologist. The Davis Audiology team will be happy to help troubleshoot any issues and make some minor adjustments if necessary.
Some common adjustments may be:
- You can hear whistling: If you hear a whistling noise, your earmold might need to be fixed in place as the sound is escaping. A discrete spur can be added to the earmold called a canal lock, which will help the earmold stay in place.
- Your voice sounds muffled: As the earmold is snugly fitted, it may on occasion block the ear canal, leading to your voice sounding muffled. With modifications either directly to their earmold or the hearing aid circuit, your audiologist can simply and effectively solve this issue.
- Your voice sounds too loud: When your voice sounds too loud your earmold might need a larger vent. Earmold vents allow sounds to escape from the ear, reducing the amplification of the sound.
Hearing instrument adjustments are simple and easy to perform. It’s important to visit your audiologist if you are experiencing any of the above after having an earmold fitted.
How Can Davis Audiology Help Me with an Earmold?
Davis Audiology has helped people select the right hearing aid style for their hearing loss for over a decade. If you need an earmold, you can be confident that our friendly team of audiologists will be on-hand to guide you through the molding and fitting process. Call us today at 864-655-8300 to find out more about how we can help today.