Ear molds and plugged-up feeling

For the past five years I have had mini, behind-the-ear, Phonak Audeo HAs. These have a small speaker at the end of a wire and that speaker sits in your ear canal. I am perhaps ready to get another pair and am interested in the major Con regarding the Traditional Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aid (BTE). The BTE has all the electronics in the unit and a hollow tube conducts the sound to the ear canal. Of them, Consumer Reports says: The earmold must fit snugly and fill the entire ear canal, which can cause a plugged-up feeling. On a positive note, feedback is rare because of the snug fit.

My question is how annoying is that plugged-up feeling? Do folks eventually get used to it? Many thanks

If your ear canal is plugged up and you have normal or near-normal hearing in the low frequencies, you’ll notice the occlusion effect when you speak. Your own voice will sound hollow or boomy. A large vent or short vent in the earmold can help reduce this effect.

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As my hearing loss has worsened, I have recently had to change from domes to full ear molds. Personally, I’ve had no trouble adjusting to the feeling, and in many ways prefer these. I did have to go back to my audiology department and get my left one trimmed down slightly as it was rubbing, and this one is also slightly loose which gives a very annoying effect of sound cutting in and out when I move my head, speak, eat etc - but hopefully I’ll soon be able to have another mold fitted and that will sort the problem out. My right one fits perfectly though, and I’m very happy with it.

Thanks for the feedback, DanBear. Have an appointment with my audiologist this a.m. and will discuss the various options with her.

I’ve had full shell earmolds with no vents and I prefer it having no vents.

I tried having vents in my earmolds to help with getting air to my ears but I felt like I couldn’t hear anything. I didn’t get any feedback but I just lost the ability to hear anything.

Back from my yearly appointmen/tune-up with the audiologist, who is BTW very good. My Phonak Audeos are now five years old and after testing my hearing and using all her very high tech gear, she was able to adjust the HAs on her computer so that they almost perfectly matched the results of my hearing loss and said to keep them; no need to upgrade at this point. And the results of the test were almost exactly the same as last year’s hearing test; no further hearing loss. :slight_smile:

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Glad to hear about your results.
You actually with RIC (Receiver in Canal) HAs have the best of both Behind the Ear types of hearing aids. I have been using RIC aids for years starting with Starkey and now on Phonaks. The biggest feature for me was the better control of feedback or total elimination of it in my case. Also with severe hearing loss they are able to put the speaker closer to the ear drum and not have to have to use a tube from behind the ear which has losses along the way.
Again, really good news for you!!!

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