I am having a new impression of my right ear done tomorrow at the VA. The one that I have right now is too tight and causing my ear to ache. Is there anything that I should or can do to make sure the new mold will fit better? I have heard that opening your mouth a couple of times helps. Or moving your jaw from side to side. Also I noticed when the original impressions were taken that the silicone was still snapping and popping when they were removed. Should the Dr. leave the impression material in until it stops snapping and popping. I assume it is still curing if it is still making noise. Also if it is still curing after being taken out can it keep expanding. Just wondering if that was the problem in the first place.
There are a number of providers of the impression material. It seems all have their fan boys and detractors. Whatever used, you would want to follow the mixing and curing info exactly.
Another argued point is whether you should chewing/opening mouth action. Some say yes and other no. When you chew or manipulate the jaw, the shape of the ear canal changes.
I don’t really have an answer for you. One fitter might say one or the other is best.
There’s also hard and soft molds than can be considered.
The mold you have right now may be able to be shaved down where it needs to be shaved to give you a more comfortable fit, depending on the type of material used. The various materials used are: acrylic/ Lucite, Vinyl, Polyethylene and Silicone. Moving your jaw can also help in some situations as well if they do a new impression. There are several materials used in the making of the impressions with the two part putty like silicone being used by many making impressions. Becoming more common is a computer scan of your canal to generate the impression used to make the mold. If the silicone is used it cures in less than ten minutes if it’s mixed correctly.
Well I want to thank you guys for your input. The Dr. tried buffing the old one to make it fit a little more comfortable. It helped a little but the fit didn’t come close to the left one. So I guess she is going to lay the problem into an other person’s lap and go from there. Anyway thanks again I appreciate your time and input.
Buffing alone won’t do it. She would need to grind some of the mold away and then buff it.
If she takes a proper look at your canal to see if there is contact soreness, she can modify the mould from there.
OTOH if it’s just oversized, then removing material all the way around will help. Mould making is becoming a bit of a lost art TBH, due to the rise of the use of domes.
Modern 50:50 impression material should come out of a syringe with a one time mixing nozzle. Hand mixing is really a thing of last century, unless you live in the third world. The prospect of the silicone cleaning all the stuff off my hands or anything it touches and then going in somebody’s ear canal is just disgusting IMHO.
Just a quick follow up. The DR. said that she wanted to try something before she would have new molds made. So she installed domes to the aids. What a difference. Nice and comfortable. My voice sound normal. I don’t have that congested feeling. I feel that I can hear just about as good as with the molds. But the fact that they are comfortable makes all the difference in the world. I keep checking to make sure the aid are still in place. I think with a couple of small tweaks I should be all set. Anyway guys thanks I appreciate you sharing your knowledge with me. The sad part about this type of experience is when you first get your aids you have no ides what to expect. And if you ask questions you are at the mercy of the dispenser. Is the answer “OH that is the way it is suppose to be” or are they going to take the time to help you if you think that you have a problem. One of my questions was “How do I know if my aid are working correctly”. My self I don’t know because I have nothing to compare it to. Well enough rambling> Thanks again.
This is interesting. I know the story around here is that molds are usually or pretty much always better, but I wonder if for some of us domes are more satisfactory. I’ve always had custom molds before; my KS7s are the first time I’ve had domes (single, closed). I really like them! I keep thinking maybe I should get molds to see if they’re better, but like I say I’m really happy with the domes. It’s not so much the occlusion issue, but just that they feel a lot less cumbersome, like a don’t have a big plastic thing jammed in my ear. And after I figured out how to make the concha locks work better, they stay in place pretty well, too.
I tried soft domes (double dome) for the first time ever two weeks ago after previously only ever having full custom molds. I thought they were great, I was pretty impressed. However, the killer for me was they just weren’t quite as good at sealing the canal and feedback became an issue. Back to custom molds, but at least now I understand better why some folks prefer domes.
I had similar issue with one of my semi-soft molds (soreness and pain). My audiologist sent it back to the supplier for modification at the point of soreness. It came back slightly better, but still not quite right. I just used a marker to pinpoint the spot, and then file and fine sandpaper to take off a bit more material- worked very well for me. If you have a feedback problem, it could easily be caused by a vent, especially if it is too big.
Bob@K - I am late to the game here, but can SO relate to your situation here. Until just now (as I’m in trial with Oticon Opn miniRITE BTEs), I’ve always been fit with ITE aids and molds. So I’m talking with about 30 years’ experience. Over the years, I have also been told “CHEW!” by some audiologists, and “DON’T CHEW!” by others as I had the putty injected into my ears.
Many years of experience tells me that the best advice I can give is: go in for impressions in the middle of the day. When you wake up, your ear canals could be a tad swollen (as mine are most mornings). They can remain that way for a couple of hours, so I never get impressions done first thing in the morning. I also avoid the END of the day, cuz my ears may be too “loosey-goosey”, in which case the aids would be TIGHT in the morning and painful to insert. It’s definitely imperfect and rocket science at once. Nearly every single time I’ve ever had impressions taken, just ONE of the aids comes back with a bit of leakage. That means the fit is not perfect - either due to the original impression taken, or the manufacturing of the shell, or both.
The other factor you have to deal with is the weather/temperature at the time impressions are taken. No kidding, when I moved to a very dry place one mile high, I was still going back to my old town at sea level with higher humidity for impressions to be taken. Mistake. Even temperature and humidity can impact the shape of your ear canal. How I wish that some kind of laser device could take a precise size/shape of our ear canal to be used for the final earmold - but this is simply not available everywhere yet.
When one of my aids comes back “squeaky/leaky”, I just have the audiologist run “feedback management” to cut the squeak. However, that adjustment also diminishes the high frequencies, and leaves me feeling like I paid a bundle for compromised results. Sadly, few - if ANY - audiologists will take a new impression and have the case remolded. I have even offered to PAY FOR the new impression (which is only like $100 max per ear?). To no avail, I’ve never had that aid redone. Instead, I limp along with it, cursing and looking forward to the day a few years out when I start the whole procedure over again.
So it really is crucial for you to have the best possible conditions under which to have your impressions taken. Good luck to you in this endeavor. Let us know how it works out.
Bob, I had a similar experience. VA outsources to a local provider here (Veterans Choice), and I am not happy at all with them. I have severe loss. My last pair was about 5 years ago. She insisted that I get molds due to the extent of my loss in both ears.
From past experience, I told her that I wanted domes. Nope.
So I got hard molds (receiver in the ear Phonaks), and as expected, they hurt after an hour or two. She said there was not enough material to try to grind/buff them down.
Then she ordered soft molds. No help.
I bought my own power receivers with power domes (double domes), and they have been working fine. No occlusion or feedback. I realize that I may not be getting best performance from domes, but I can wear them all day ok.
I got the software and hardware to program them myself, instead of having to make multiple trips and waiting for appointments to get them adjusted correctly.
Now I am due for new aids, because my hearing has gotten worse and the aids are 5 years old. I went through the same arguments again with the latest audiologist.
Am waiting to see what she ordered and if they will work ok.
If not, I may just bite the bullet and make the long 120 mile trip to the closest VA medical center.
Can you contact the old fitter you liked with the VA? If there isn’t another office in your area, you might discuss/try the Rexton 3D. It has been a good while since you got these aids. I’m sure that you’d qualify for new aids. Make sure the VA has this info. It will help others in the future.
With the 3d aids, you fittter 120 miles away can adjust them for you over the internet.
@doc_jakey was with the VA in the audiology field and often has solid advice for vets next step. I’m sure he can chip in with good advice for you.
VA aids will be replaced every 4 years. We never outsourced local for molds. They were always done by the manufacturer of the aids. With the Siemens aids we used their 3d scanner and just send the image. Where are you that you are 120 miles. Most OPCs now have audiology dept’s.
If that’s your audiogram you should be researching implants.