Earmold rubbing blisters

I’ve worn aids for some 19 years, ~8 with a “hard” earmold and tube to carry sound into it, ~9 with “domes” on the receiver in ear, and the last 2 with “soft” earmolds using the same receiver as with the domes; hearing got worse and we couldn’t manage feedback with the domes.

About 12 months into the soft earmolds, one ear began “pushing” the aid out. I broke the wire at the receiver pushing it in all the time. Costco remade that earmold, same technology, very slightly deeper…That worked for some 6 months. About 18 months into the soft earmolds, I got what my PCP (primary care provider ,not an ENT) thought was an soft tissue infection. My Audi again saw nothing wrong. PCP prescribed an oral antibiotic which seemed to 90% resolve my problem. Four months later, it recurred. He prescribed the antibiotic again which didn’t help. I asked for a referral to an ENT and my PCP gave me a topical antibiotic. When the ENT saw me, he said it appears to be a blister from friction with the soft aid; he agreed with the topical, but said to get some domes instead of the earmold for a while. If that resolves the blister issue, get some better fitting earmolds. Blisters (both ears now in the last 4 weeks or so) seem to be getting better after a week.

Aids and audi are from Costco. Resound made the earmolds from impressions by the Costco audi. ENT said their audi can provide earmolds if I want to get “proper” fit … I think he doesn’t respect Costco. Obviously, I’d pay for them.

I intend to FIRST go back to Costco and ask for better earmolds, but what do I want? If they refuse, I guess I have to go elsewhere.


My hearing aid specialist suggested to stay away from the soft molds. He explained that they are much like pencil erasers. They rub each time they are inserted. I wear hard molds with a special coating. I do not know what the coating is however it is to make them insert better. Costco contracts with a separate ear mold manufacture so I feel your molds were not made by Resound. (that is the brand I own) Hope this helps

Thanks, yes. It adds a tool to my toolbox. I’m almost 100% sure they are made by Resound; their logo and a serial number are molded into them. My ENT suggested living with the lower effectiveness of domes for 2 weeks for any swelling to recede; I’ll see what Costco says after that.

For the past 8 months I have worn soft silicone canal lock molds. About 5 months ago my left ear had pain issues due to a particular spot hurting so I wouldn’t wear that aid for a few days for the pain to stop. Then about 3 months ago my right ear got infected to the point of jaw joint pain and swelling. Since that time I have been to my doctor and an ENT about this and learned the soft silicone molds were causing the issues.
The soft silicone molds have been removed from the receivers and power domes put on to try and let the ears heal. What I plan to do now is make new earmold impressions with my mouth open. Then have lucite skeleton molds made with Select A Vents. Hopefully this will stop the ear issues.

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Thanks! Another tool in my toolbox. My first aids, obtained in 2001 I think, had the plastic sound tube and hard earmolds. I had no problems. My second were receiver in ear (canal?) with domes. They didn’t work as well, but I made do. These 3rd were the same, but worsening hearing meant the domes were not effective seals and my audi fitted me for the soft earmolds. I’m learning there is no such thing as a free lunch.


First thing I want to stress is if you, as a patient, are having any sort of pain or difficulty with your hearing aids, call your provider immediately. You paid a lot of money, so make us work for it.

I often will use soft molds for patients, because many patients like the flexibility of them. If there is a spot on a soft or hard mold that is rubbing, your provider often can fix that without too much trouble.

I really hate that some of you have been through this.

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Shawn.Garza, did that 6 months ago, he couldn’t find any cause for my pimple-looking sore. Primary care doc suspected an infection with the puss on a tissue, antibiotic didn’t address it. ENT early last week felt (correctly apparently) that it is indeed rubbing … have an appointment with audi in 2.5 weeks, earliest available, I’m living with less effective domes for now, no pain/difficulty. ENT/PCP did prescribe a topical antibiotic ointment twice a day. I plugged wax guards twice with it, last 2 days applied as thin as practical then wipe off excess.


Your post sounds like mine.
The ENT scolded me for mixing mineral oil and triple antibiotic ointment to create something I could drip into my infected ear. Funny thing is it worked like a charm. Had I had a broken eardrum that might have been the wrong thing to do? Don’t know.

I truly hate that you’re having to go through that and that you have to wait for 2.5 weeks to get it fixed. That really sucks!

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Well I could be wrong but my assumption is there are way more hearing aid users using acrylic hard shell molds then silicone. I also could be wrong but I bet acrylic might hold up a little better or not be impacted by sweat versus soft molds. But maybe it makes no difference.

One question though. I’ve always been able to push a hard shell mold out by placing a thumb behind my lower ear and pushing. Bingo its out. But when I tried to remove a silicone ear mold it wasn’t that easy. Do some posters here find removing soft ear molds difficult or is there some trick to remove them?

My understanding of the soft silicone molds is they are better for profound hearing losses.

I have never had acrylic or lucite molds so I can not say how they are but I have soft silicone ear molds now. They can be difficult to put in as well as take out. I use the canal lock to grab and pull out the mold. As far as durability, soft silicone is absolutely tuff.

If resound did in fact manufacture your molds I wish my HIS would have advised me of this option. Thank you.

Until I developed these sores, I’ve had, and prefer earmolds. These are soft urethane. From about 2000 until 2009, I had hard (Lucite? or acrylic?). RIE was not common, AFAIK. When I replaced them in 2009, RIE and domes were his preference (and about $80 less expensive); 8 years or so with those, no real problems. Then the humidity started getting to them as, I assume, the “nanocoating” wore.

Replacements, with phone connectivity, are very good. We started with RIE and domes, but had problems with feedback; domes by Resound changed, IMO for the worse.

I’m rough on the wire connection to the receiver, damaging (I’m almost 100% sure) during insertion, and/or re-insertion. Costco has replaced the receivers 3 times in 18 months, twice with molds. IMO, more deeply inserting the receiver in the mold would help?

Thanks for all of the advice and help. We’ll see where things go from here.


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Just got new silicone ear molds yesterday and I concur they’re probably better for someone with a severe/profound hearing loss. Maybe it takes time to get used to new molds, but the silicone really makes my ears feel “full” and I notice slight pressure on the right side. Now I’ve had no feedback nor occlusion which is good, but I’m betting when I take my ear molds out this evening my ears will ache. More so right side. Not my ear canal but “rim” area of my outer ear where silicone is applying pressure. So basically it’s a very tight fit, so the question is does the tightness or fullness go away over time? And with repeated use will my ears at the end of the day feel normal (not sore) after say a week or two of wearing new molds?

My assumption is if you ear is sore after two, three days of use - its time to go back and make a new mold, slight smaller.

New earmolds may take a few days or a couple weeks to get accustomed to. Maybe less hours a day at first might be needed. I am not an expert, this is from my wearing them and reading here on the forum.

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