How long does it take to get used to custom earmolds?

Due to excessive feedback issues with my Audeo IX’s, my HIS ordered me a pair of Slimtips, a custom micro earmold. They are much larger than the open domes I was using and feel like I’m wearing earplugs. They have a vent, but it doesn’t seem to do much and I don’t like the way I sound to myself when I talk.

I’m hoping I can get used to them, because it eliminated the feedback problem completely.

Another issue that cropped up with adding these earmolds is the tubes with the receiver wire in them won’t stay flush against my head. Is there anything I can safely do to remedy this?


I am fitted with custom micro earmold (both ears) - same reason as yours - too much feedback. Yes, felt like I was wearing earplugs and a little sore on the first week.

Things I discover through trial and error to ease the adjustment:

  1. there is a right way to insert the earmold! There is a extractor (a thin wire-like plastic with a round knob) attached to the earmold that you can pull to ease the earmold out of the canal. When inserted properly, the knob rests on and sticks out from the base of the canal opening. For me this is also the most comfortable, I think because the ear mold is properly seated to conform to the shape of my ear canal and seals it nicely. More important, the ‘plug-up’ sensation disappear - the vent now allows outside sound to enter the ear while the proper seal eliminates the feedback squeal.

  2. to ease the soreness, I tried Vaseline, lipcream, lipbalm and even KY Jelly :eek:. Honestly, KY Jelly works best - I really don’t feel the earmold in my ears. Embarrassing, but true.

You may discover something else that you can share with us sometime :slight_smile:

Cheers (and embarrassed)

Thanks yvr. I’m not sure if I understand your method correctly. I’ve probably put these in and out of my ears 50 times today. My HIS said he could cut the extractors off and I could use the tubes to pull the molds out of my ears, so that is what I had him do.

I believe I am inserting them in my ears correctly and I don’t think I’m blocking the vent. No matter what, I still have that earplug feeling and sound when I talk. Let’s approach this a little differently, are you pushing the earmolds in a little deeper or not as deep to get the proper depth you’re getting?

My ears are starting to get a little tender already. If it gets worse I won’t be too embarassed to use a little KY Jelly to ease the pain.


are the molds hard or soft?

I have had more of a problem with hard molds in the past as far as pressure points are concerned. I actually just get new molds yesterday and they have some pressure points that need to be fixed.

Soft molds tend to be less of a problem when it comes to pressure points.

From my experiences, earmolds should not be uncomfortabled. If they are there is probably a problem.

As for the plugged up feeling, I have never experienced that.

Good luck! My advice is to ask your HIS about it. Like I said they shouldn’t be uncomfortable.

Hi JennyB - They are soft molds. Actually, this morning they feel pretty comfortable. My only complaint is the plugged up feeling.

I wonder if I’m pushing them in to far. If I push them in real snug, the tubes lay against my ear (at least for a little while, until the molds work their way back out a bit).

I have a pretty bad case of swimmers ear so my ear canals are very narrow. I wonder if the vent hole is getting blocked.

Another thing I have to factor in is that I have a cold right now and I’m sure that is contributing to my plugged up feeling.


Hi Mikejl, glad to know that you are getting more comfortable with the earmold already.

I remember having problems on those days one of my ear canal was sore - I’ll just let it rest and recover for a day or 2. It was frustrating - I did not expect this level of adjustment. It was then that I experimented with lubrication.

For clarification, mine is transparent, hard micro earmold so maybe my experience is quite different from yours.

And yes, they do kind of inch out through the day - as I talk, eat, drink (or yawn!) - anything to do with lots of jaw movement - I do sense the blockage coming on and have to adjust the seating.

Looking forward to your cold clearing off and to better experience with your HA - what we, in this forum are asking for, is to be able to hear well, having invested in the hearing devices and to share our findings.

All The Best :slight_smile:

Another problem with having my ears plugged up is that it increases the volume of my tinnitus. I have moderate tinnitus in my right ear and severe in the left.

I plan to wear these for at least a month to see if I get acclimated to them. It looks like there is plently of wall left, so I might ask my HIS if he can open up the vent hole to a larger diameter.


It is possible that the mold doesn’t fit correctly.

A cold would contribute to the plugged up feeling for sure.

How long have you been wearing hearing aids for? It is a possibility that your tinnitus is being agravated by the aids. I know this is the case for me.

I’ve been wearing hearing aids for about 6 weeks now. I only lasted 2 1/2 days with the custom molds. I wear the foam earplugs anytime I am going to be in a noisy evironment. I hate to wear them, but the fear of making my tinnitus worse trumps the discomfort. I try to avoid noisy places whenever possible. The custom earmolds make me feel like I am wearing earplugs except that I can hear better.

I’m thinking about asking my HIS if he can open the vent more and then give them another try. Otherwise I will stick to the open ports. I barely notice they are in my ears and they stay flush against my ear. With the custom earmold I was constantly pushing them into my ear so they wouldn’t show so much. That caused my ear canal to get sore after awhile. The only problem with the open ports is feedback. Which isn’t nearly as bad as the plugged ear feeling.

Yes, my tinnitus is also aggravated by the aids. I think it is because I am always testing my hearing for what I can hear now and so now I’m always aware of the ringing and hissing. Prior to the hearing aids I wouldn’t notice it 90% of the time. Since I got the hearing aids I find myself going into noisy places with the aids in and no hearing protection. I worry that I am trading speech understanding for more ear damage.