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Thread: Phonak custom mold earpieces

  1. #1

    Default Phonak custom mold earpieces

    Hi, I'm new to the forum but not hearing aids. I just received a new hearing aid, due to continued low frequency losses (already have severe high frequency loss). It's a phonak, and i've been back several times trying to adjust the device for optimal word discrimination with lower "tinny" sounds. The tulip ear piece hurts my ear, and it seems a cut-off "double dome" with just one part works well.

    They mentioned that I would be a good candidate for the custom ear mold. I think that would bother me, but if my hearing would be really good with it...I suppose I could give it a whirl.

    For those of you with custom molds, what do you think about that? Is it alot different or bothersome than than little ear pieces?

    Thanks

    Letty

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Salem, Massachusetts
    Posts
    310

    Default

    I have hard plastic "skeleton" molds and I find them very comfortable.

    I have been wearing HA with customs molds for about 45 years.
    0250.Hz L-70 R-55
    0500.Hz L-75 R-65
    1000.Hz L-80 R-80
    2000.Hz L-80 R-85
    3000.Hz L-80 R-85
    4000.Hz L-80 R-80
    6000.Hz L-75 R-80
    8000.Hz L-80 R-75

    WRS:
    L 84% @ 105 dB
    R 40% @ 105 dB
    Both= 76%

    Resound Future (Costco)
    Formerly Starkey Destiny 1200

  3. Default

    If you are going to get the custom moulds free or not too expensive then I'd say give it a go, the worst that can happen is you go back to how you were. If they are going to cost you a fortune then that's rather different.

    I have always found custom moulds difficult because the shape of your ear changes when you do things like chew food and change facial expressions. I found I couldn't smile with the aids in or they'd pop out, so I started trying to hold a cheesy grin when I was getting the moulds done and that worked a bit better but then they were not such a good fit. Then again we get the cheapest rock hard moulds here, so there's a good chance that softer moulds wouldn't have that issue.

    You also have a larger tube coming over the top of your ear as there is a hard "elbow" attachment on the hearing aid attached onto the larger tubing, which can irritate some people, especially if you also wear glasses as there's a lot to store behind your ear when you are not used to it. Only time would tell if you'd get accustomed to it or not.

    You could ask them to make a small "canal only" or "canal lock" earmould. Hopefully this doesn't look like I am making an ad for this company, I have no connection with them, being on the other side of the planet, I just find it a really useful picture of the different types of mould that can be made, as there's some variety within the custom moulds. There is also a variety of materials from hard to soft - harder is generally more durable but what price comfort?

    http://alliedhearingcarecenter.com/ear_molds

    Again, if they are going to supply them under some kind of warranty or insurance that you can get a larger one done if the small one creates problems then I'd start with a small one, but if you have to pay for it then you might be better asking for a large one, as you can always have bits drilled off and filed down from a big one.

    You may also find it cheaper in the long run, as replacement tubing for a custom mould is an off-the-shelf commodity that you can retube yourself with a little know-how and a small tool, not sure if the rest of the world has the expression "made by the mile and cut off by the yard". Thin tube fittings are manufacturer-specific so they work out more expensive over time for replacements.

    You would almost certainly get better retention from a custom mould if for example you do sports, as the thicker tubing, hard elbow and custom fit makes it far harder for the aid to flap about. I have had to tape my aid to my head to manage with the thin tubes.

  4. #4

    Default

    thank you for all the information. I never thought of the earmold changing shape as your face changes. Not sure I'd like that. You gave me much information to think about. Very much appreciated!

  5. #5

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    If your loss is severe enough custom made molds would be the best way to go. Rarerly are most provided free of charge . Impressions need to be made, and usually are sent to a separate company other then phonak that specializes in making ear molds. Also the ear molds should not cause any problems to the wearer such as pain, movement when you chew, popping out when you smile, etc. If they do then the ear molds don't fit properly and need to be remade. There should not be an additional charge for remaking the ear molds. If the tubing that is attached to the aid elbow, and to the ear mold is causing irritation then in all likelihood the tubing has been cut too short and new tubing needs to be used. Changing tubing is pretty simple, your audiologist should be only too happy to show you how. Again there should be no warranty issues regarding ear molds. if they don't fit properly then they should be replaced without any additional cost. Custom ear molds have been around way longer longer then domes, without all the problems that many are implying. And like I said if your loss is severe enough custom ear molds may be a requirement. If they fit properly then you should eventually forget you are even wearing them. Any other issues mentioned can usually be rectified.
    Last edited by Hask12; 01-27-2010 at 04:52 PM.

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hask12 View Post
    If they fit properly then you should eventually forget you are even wearing them. Any other issues mentioned can usually be rectified.

    I certainly wouldn't disagree with that, I guess it depends on how much of a relationship you have with your supplier that you trust them to keep going until they get it right. A badly fitted custom mould is more trouble than a badly fitting dome, however a well-fitting custom mould is better than a badly fitting alternative. It all depends if you are the lucky recipient of a well-fitting mould, I suppose.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    NY Metro area
    Posts
    276

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hask12 View Post
    If your loss is severe enough custom made molds would be the best way to go. Rarerly are most provided free of charge . Impressions need to be made, and usually are sent to a separate company other then phonak that specializes in making ear molds. Also the ear molds should not cause any problems to the wearer such as pain, movement when you chew, popping out when you smile, etc. If they do then the ear molds don't fit properly and need to be remade. There should not be an additional charge for remaking the ear molds. If the tubing that is attached to the aid elbow, and to the ear mold is causing irritation then in all likelihood the tubing has been cut too short and new tubing needs to be used. Changing tubing is pretty simple, your audiologist should be only too happy to show you how. Again there should be no warranty issues regarding ear molds. if they don't fit properly then they should be replaced without any additional cost. Custom ear molds have been around way longer longer then domes, without all the problems that many are implying. And like I said if your loss is severe enough custom ear molds may be a requirement. If they fit properly then you should eventually forget you are even wearing them. Any other issues mentioned can usually be rectified.
    These are all good points. Just to add some additional information: I have used canal molds with my severe / profound loss for 30+ years. Many materials to chose from even hypoallergenic. I've had them made via my audiologist from many different earmold companies and it does pay to experiment. Many earmold companies have a liberal re-make earmold policy - the ear impressions are ususlly retained for some time to allow for easy re-makes.
    Hz..250.....500...1K.....2K......3K......4K.....6K ......8K
    L....-10....-10....-10....-10.....-10.....-10.....-10....-10 (with Cochlear Implant) otherwise it would the same as my Right ear !!
    R....-95....-85....-95...-120...-120....-120...-105...-105

    Cochlear Freedom Implanted 11/30/11, Activated 12/21/11.

    Phonak Naida Q70 with FM / Right Ear

    Formerly Phonak Naida IX with FM in Right & Left Ears;
    Formerly Oticon 380P with FM

  8. #8

    Default Works better than dome - for me

    Too much feedback for me with the dome - especially when I wear hat on rainy days (to keep HA dry). Mine is hard see-through plastic micro mold attached to the standard slim tube. Sound quality improves a lot too - richer, more natural frequencies all around with no feedback.

    Initial adjustment to feeling of having something plug into my ears (both) - after 1 month, all is normal. My experience is - it's worth it ( I paid $60 CDN for 2 molds L/R ears).

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers.
    YVR

  9. #9

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    My audi determined that I needed custom earmoulds from the getgo due to my low frequency loss. The hard ones came as standard with the HA's from Phonak Canada. We had several attempts (all included in the price) to get moulds that would stay in my ears. Eventually I got moulds with a canal lock which made them bigger than I really like, but now I have got used to them.
    I am wondering if Phonak Canada give us the option to have moulds made by a third party. If so, I would like to try soft moulds which I hope could be made smaller and still stay in my ears.

    Gilbert

  10. #10

    Default

    Hmmm...well I think I'll reconsider this is it's only $60 or so. If I don't like it, I can always just go back to the dome. I don't have my audiogram with me, but I think my low frequency hearing up to 1000-2000 hz is about 45 or so, and then it does a pretty drastic ski slop down to 80 by the time it gets to 8000 hz.

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