Has anyone ever made ear canal molds?

Hi,

I am looking at purchasing HA’s via internet from the US. I am from Canada. The price differences are ridiculous, which is why I’m looking into this.
They send you something to make your own molds of your ears. I wwas wondering if anyone has ever done this themselves?

I have not and do not recommend it. You should be able to find an audiologist or dispenser to take impressions for you. You may even be able to get a credit on the aids you’re purchasing by having the person taking the impressions going ahead and having the ear-molds made for you.

Taking your own impressions is not adviseable.

I’m wearing custom ear molds and let the audiologist make the impressions. One came out fine, but when she pulled the other one out, she looked at it and said, the earmold people aren’t going to like that one… we’d better redo it… which I gathered was not unusual. And she had a special injector tool which DoItYourselfers at home will not have. So I don’t know how easy it is to take an impression at home, but I imagine the failure rate is considerable. You might waste a fair amount of time sending a pair in, getting back one or both back, trying again, etc.

Also, know that audiologists typically have to do some custom fitting when the mold arrives, perhaps gninding it down a bit, reshaping the tube on an inserted BTE, etc., so I don’t know if you want to have the mold made and sent by mail, either.

The cost for me was just $85 per ear including the impression and the mold which, given what was involved, seemed reasonable to me.

Thanks for the replies. I am a little leery of doing the mold myself, but I am not sure an audiologist would do it for me if I told them I wasn’t buying the HA’s from them. :frowning:

That’s a good question. I don’t know. Might depend on the audiologist. I would think many or at least some would be willing to do it. What if you already had the aids when you went to get the molds made? People do move to new cities or otherwise change audiologists. It’s an opportunity to build a new relationship for the audiologist.

I’ve had earmolds made for me for my existing hearing aids without any problems from several of my local hearing aid vendors. It’s also a way for me to ‘size up’ their practice when it comes time to get new(er) hearing aids.

That should not be a problem. Let them know in advance of your situation and expect to pay about $200 if they have the molds made for you. There should be a 90 day warranty on the molds.

Whomever you’re buying the aids from should give you at least a $100 credit for going this route. Good Luck!

Several years ago my daughter (then 17) helped me take my ear impressions for a pair of America Hears CICs. I inserted the foam block (attached to a thread) and she squeezed in the impression material. It all went well. Although I ended up returning the aids for other reasons, they fit well with no feedback problems.
Call some hearing aid dealers. If you just need an impression made so you can send it off, it shouldn’t cost nearly as much as having an actual ear mold made.

Hi, I’m from Canada too. I didn’t get a warm reaction from a local audiologist several years ago when I went in to just have impressions taken. They basically told me that they only do work for their office, not for internet orders. I then found Lloyds hearing online, and got my impression kit and BTE molds from them. They send you a kit with impression material and syringe and foam blocks, you send everything back to them, and they make the molds. $40 per ear. I had no issues with taking the impressions myself, and the molds fit very well. I can recommend them.

Good luck!

Hi Dave,
Actually I’m looking at CIC’s, so I think my molds may be a little more complicated, which is why they scare me. :slight_smile:
I actually looked into Lloyds as well, but found another place in Florida which is a lot cheaper for the HA’s.

I also have just found an audiologist who will do the impressions for me for $69.00 per ear. They also told me that if I needed any programming changes or fine tuning once I get them, they would chagre from $30 to $112 per side.

That doesn’t sound ot bad to me at all!

Thanks everyone for you responses and advice.

Andie

A word of caution is in order, I think.

Unless the cotton is inserted properly and not too much pressure is used inserting the molding material it is possible to damage the ear drum when removing the hardened mold. Great care is important.

Despite my many years of experience I get a pro to do my molds. Ed

I would never advice anybody to get hearing aids delivered to them by placing order through internet.

Hearing aids are specialized products which need customization for an individual, which only a trained professional can do for you.

The proper fitting of earmolds plays a very important role getting advantage from a hearing aid. Poor fitting of molds can render a highly advanced hearing aid useless, by causing feedback or affecting the quality of the output. Taking good ear impressions require a lot of experience, therefore a layman may not be able to take good ear impressions, for the earmolds, thereby causing poor fit of hearing aids.

The Digital hearing aids need to be programmed for an individual based on his/her hearing loss,therefore while buying a hearing aid, the user must be present, so that it can be programmed and fine tuned according to his hearing loss, and his hearing preferences.

As hearing aids are costly products, you should always have the option of trying hearing aids before arriving at any decision to buy them.

One should always try to get the hearing aids from an Audiologist/hearing professional, who is based near their place, as you may require his/her support in future to take care of your hearing aids and your hearing problem.

Last but not the least… Buying hearing aids through postal order benefits only the seller.:stuck_out_tongue:
Have a nice time ahead.

I have taken several impressions and had earmolds made for pts who were buying the HAs elsewhere. It’s inevitable to happen, and a professional who is salty about it is doing themselves a disservice. HAs aren’t the only things we specialize in. Earmolds and the like are also things we should be advising patients on and helping them wade through the MANY options - it can be overwhelming.

Any audi or dispenser who doesn’t want to help you, doesn’t need your business. It’s not like there isn’t a markup on the earmolds anyway :cool:

dr. amy

Personally I do not have a big problem with making new molds for an old set of aids so I don’t see why this is any different. You could probably leave the rest out and just say you want new molds.

The reason that they are cheaper over the internet is they are not offering any significant after sales service. I am also a little unsure how you could get adjustments done. With 98% of hearing aid fittings the hearing aids have to be tuned for you over time as you adapt to them, this is unlikely to happen over the internet. As a HA dispenser I am not only charging for the hearing aids but also for the warranty, the service, we provide batteries with the price of purchase and have a location that you can go to when you have problems. I wonder what happens 6 months or a year down the road when internet-purchased hearing aids breakdown or need service?

Of course I could offer a discount if I was a shipper-receiver instead of a hearing professional.

Molds don’t always come out right the first time and have to be redone. I don’t see why the audiologist would care if you are getting the aids elsewhere. Making molds are just part of the business, just don’t expect him to deal with the hearing aid. Some will some won’t. And once you have the molds where will you get the tubing from. And who is going to adjust the aids, and maintain the aids, and replace the tubing…