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What is an Earmold?
If you’ve been to see an audiologist for a hearing exam, then you may have been spoken to about earmolds. They’re a commonly used thing in the hearing health world, and they serve plenty of uses. Understandably, you may not know what one of these is and what they can do for you. So, to make life easier, we’ll quickly run through what earmolds are, while also providing any additional information that may be useful to you!
What is an earmold?
An earmold is typically the best friend of behind-the-ear hearing aids. They’re a little piece of carefully-molded material that sits in your ear and connects the ear canal to the hearing instrument. You can get them in so many different styles and colors depending on personal preference and the shape of your ear.
Furthermore, an earmold can also be used to help people without hearing loss. Custom molds can be made and inserted into your ear to block out sounds and protect your hearing. When earmolds are used like this, it’s generally in cases where individuals are continuously exposed to loud noises and require protection to prevent severe hearing damage.
How is an earmold made?
Your audiologist and their team can quickly make an earmold for you. The process is simple, and it all starts with some impressions. They create a mixture that can be molded around your outer and inner ear. This mixture starts off quite wet and paste-like, but it will solidify to the shape of your ear, creating the impressions. They then get sent off to a lab where either your audiologist or their team or technicians will create the earmold.
As mentioned, the majority of earmolds will partner hearing aids. As such, they need to be created to suit this purpose. When the plastic earmold has been made based on the impressions, your audiologist will need to drill a small hole through it. They then insert a connective piece of tubing through this hole which attaches to the hearing device. This is what allows sound to be picked up by the device and sent into the ear canal.
What are earmolds made out of?
An earmold is primarily made out of plastic, but various plastic types can be called upon. The two most common materials are acrylic and silicone. Acrylic is seen as a good option because it’s strong and the earmold is unlikely to suffer any damage. Silicone is a more flexible material that may mean the earmold fits better and provides more comfort.
The type of earmold you have will depend on your own personal preference. You’ll be fitted with the initial earmold design, and your audiologist will carry out tests to see if it fits properly and works effectively. If not, they can keep tweaking things until the perfect fit is there.
An earmold is an essential part of hearing instruments. If you want to learn more about them, or perhaps feel like you may need one made, then contact your audiologist today to book an appointment.