Extremely Sensitive Ear Canal


No part of the receiver end should touch your ear canal. If they are it is a fit issue. Either the receiver is not inserted into the dome correctly, or the dome is the wrong size, or the receiver wire is too short or too long, or the dome is not being correctly inserted in the ear. If the hard part of the receiver tip is touching the ear canal, that is what needs to be fixed and it should be an easy fix.


It shouldn’t matter what shape they are if they are way smaller than the ear canal. They don’t come into contact with the ear canal. It is the dome material or the custom mold material that touches the ear canal.


Bluejay, there are a lot of options for custom tips. I’m not sure you’ve exhausted them.


Based on this picture of the insides of an ITE hearing aid, receiver customization to fit individual ear canals does seem possible though, maybe not likely.

The picture is best viewed by making your browser window full-screen and then click the image to enlarge.


It is done frequently…


Oh I guess I wasn’t clear. I was talking about customizing a standard receiver like this Oticon 100 receiver below. When you order a custom mold from the manufacturer they just take a standard/straight receiver and shove it into the mold. In some cases (maybe most cases?) it’s a horrible fit. Instead of using a standard straight receiver why can’t they build in some curving like they do for an ITE hearing aid?


They don’t shove it into the mold if you get an encased tip, just like a custom hearing aid. Encased tips are often dispreferred because if something breaks down it has to go back to the manufacturer for repair compared to the sort where you can just remove the receiver and replace it in the office (names of custom tips differ by manufacturer). But for people who are having fit problems, they can often offer a better fit. The ‘wing’ problem is also easier to correct with an encased mold as the wire can come out at any point. An encased mold is usually the ‘hard pink shell’ that bluebird is talking about though.


Wow! Thanks for this. I had not heard of encased tips before. Oh, probably also dispreferred because if the end user doesn’t like the fit then maybe the entire receiver has to be scrapped.


For sure, manufacturer preference would be for domes.


I really need to look into some custom tips. No offense to my aud-guy, but he shoes me out the door with a trial pair already set up with silicone domes. I don’t get any choice for color of aids or custom tips.

My app’t with him to trial the Marvels was just postponed another week … he HAS no Marvels on hand yet! … so I’m hoping if I buy these aids I get more choice in the final purchase.


Ahh, if it’s just a trial it is harder to do custom tips. They come at a cost.


Yes, that is true, and that would take me right back to my issue of swollen “meatus” + being allergic to the clear plastic mold that one would typically connect to the plastic tubing.

Yeah. Sometimes I go round and round in my mind weighing all the pros and cons of custom molded ITEs vs the silicone dome on a REI.

Just looking at that size 100 receiver makes me WINCE. Again, it seems a missed opportunity for manufacturers to not realize some ear canals are shorter, narrower than the GIANT box on the receiver.

Um … ear trumpet anyone?


Remind me again: You’ve never done a traditional BTE with a silicone-type earmold?


^^^ No - not yet! I guess I got cold feet - or call that a chilled ear canal! - reading one of the poster’s here who’d mentioned his own custom-shaped silicone material receivers (for a BTE) kept slipping out of his ears. That’s already my problem with the cheap silicone double-domes I have now. To pay MORE money for the same issue would not be good.

But would I EVER love a nice, tight fit for a REI that’s comfy and stays put. I think maybe the manmade material just doesn’t exist yet.


The soft canal molds I use stay in pretty well despite my ear canals basically being a perfect slide down to the floor. With hard molds I need a canal lock. I have never found domes of any size that are comfortable for me. A nice, full-shell soft mold will generally stay right where it should, even if a canal mold won’t, unless you have a more unusual pinna shape.

It might be worthwhile asking your clinician what your options are for molds or custom tips and what the costs of experimenting might be, given your known reaction to the hard, clear tips. Then you can make a judgement on whether the experiment is worth it for you at this point. It is the case that a lot of earmolds are not refundable, though they will have a remake warranty if you are having retention or comfort issues.


I have. and forever since. (those kind of earmolds gave me no issues. the other? yep, that would scream bad breakout


Here’s the deal: Some people have very compact ears inside and out. We must be in the extreme minority. I had 5 molds made for me (2 at Costco for the PhonaK Brio power receiver, and 3 with a private audiologist for the Bernafon Zerena 85 receivers) over this past year and the pain was so bad, I got eustachian tube malfunction and TMJ pain. I returned both sets. I see an audi next week to see if my old, very abbreviated, tiny, somewhat comfortable molds from my 10yo Oticon Delta HA’s can be replicated.


^^^ Wow. You have my total empathy here. I’ve been down that road too, and ended up with flaming otitis. How much fun is it to go with NO AIDS in at my level of hearing loss for a good WEEK while the ears heal? Combine that (as I did) in the winter with a power blackout, and … well … I was Helen Keller for a couple days there, no kidding.


I went for 2 months with only one 10yr old HA ( I lost the other one, which started the year-long search for new aids, molds- which was a failure) and painful otitis too. We should stay in touch…


We are gonna stay in touch RIGHT HERE alright! I feel for ya!

And if you’ve read my post on the Marvel 312 trial, you’ll know, it’s still not a perfect world out there. These aids have a tiny bend near the end of the receiver, but a persistent red spot (luckily not an open sore!) in my ear canal proves that the receiver is butting up against the wall of my ear canal and not even reaching into the “cave” part of the ear. That is simply not an optimal fit! But it appears as good as it gets for now.