The finished impression of your ear is sent to your hearing aid manufacturer or an earmould laboratory. The choice of earmould and type of hearing aid depends on several factors, like the shape of your ear or your type of hearing loss. The impression will be then shaped to your desired hearing aid model – like a behind-the-ear hearing aid. Two types of earmoulds can be made:
Hard earmoulds: These are made with photoplastic material that cures with exposure to ultraviolet light. It is easy to keep clean and can be adjusted
Soft earmoulds: These are made with silicone and are shaped according to the form of your ear. They are great for active children, and are mostly used for severe degrees of hearing loss.
The final product is shaped to have the desired acoustic properties and to conform with your hearing loss, hearing aid type, and the dimensions of your ear.
Using your earmould
To insert your earmould, turn off your hearing aid or turn the volume down. The broad curve of the earmould should be towards the back of your head, and the elbow of the earmould should point upwards. Insert the earmould into your ear from behind at a slanting angle. It may be helpful to gently pull your outer ear backwards and upwards so that the ear canal widens and slightly straightens. Earmoulds slip easily into place in some people’s ears, while in others they must be gently “rocked” into place. When removing the earmould from the ear, turn off the hearing aid or turn the volume down. Then gently pull the earmould out of the ear.Cleaning your earmould
It’s important to clean your earmould once or twice a week. Follow these directions to clean your earmould:
- Carefully ease the tube, which is connected to the earmould, from the hearing aid hook.
- Rinse the earmould and tube in lukewarm running water.
- Put the earmould and tube in a bowl of mild soapy water or in an effervescent solution similar to that used for cleaning dentures. Let it soak for at least 10 minutes so that any earwax or dirt is loosened.
- Dry the earmould with a soft cloth.
- Let the earmould dry overnight on absorbent cloth or paper, with the sound outlet end of the earmould pointing down, so any remaining moisture can drain out.
- Attach the tube and earmould to the hearing aid.
Never put cotton buds, toothpicks, pipe cleaners or similar pointed objects into the earmould.