The primary function of earmolds is to hold a firm sound channel in place in the ear while blocking out all other sounds. This enables the hearing aid to transmit its programmed sound to your ear without interruption. You experience a more focused, purer sound than you would experience when filtering the added noises in the environment.
The importance of earmold fit
Dr. Spinuzza's extensive experience creating earmolds underlies her understanding of how unique every ear canal is. Some are wide open with relatively few turns and others are narrow and crooked. Your earmold cast must be created correctly. There are several requirements.
- It should be comfortable.
- It must allow for some motion, as when chewing or speaking.
- It should not cause feedback from sound leaks around the sides.
- If it is a hard mold to encase a speaker, it should fit as deeply as possible and be shaped so that it cannot slide out of the canal.
- It must be equal to the function of the hearing aid. If the aids need to produce a more powerful sound due to greater hearing loss, the molds must seal the ear more than what is required for milder hearing loss
Earmold materials are related to the type of hearing aid being used and the degree of hearing loss it is augmenting.
Soft silicone and vinyl molds
These are often used when the connection to the aid is via a soft tube. It is also used with sensitive ears where a harder mold would cause discomfort.
Soft and pliable molds for hearing protection
These are often replaced after several uses. Some types do not actually change shape (like a wax would) but only distort to fit the contours of the inner ear and are reusable indefinitely.
These molds are designed to pass through a sound while blocking out all other sounds. It is also used with hearing aids that embed a speaker in the mold itself. The hard case protects and holds in place the delicate speaker.