Molds vs Domes -- RIC Hearing Aids

Would you experienced hearing aid users tell me the reasons some people prefer domes and others choose either soft or hard molds. Some general information would be much appreciated.

I’m changing to Kirkland Signature 7.0 hearing aids, having used Rexton Trax 42c with domes for a few months quite satisfactorily. I am wondering if I should order molds and then compare them with domes. And I guess hard molds are the most common form, but some people use soft domes??

You can tell from what I have written that I’m somewhat in the dark, and I’d like to know more before I go in for the appointment to order my new hearing aids. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer. I expect I’m not the only person with this quandary.

My trax 42 had an ear mould for my left ear and a dome for my right. I found the mould to be far more comfortable than the dome and had it replaced with a mound. After several more months my hearing aid began whistling. What I have read since returning them is that domes are less likely to whistle then domes bc they are more open than the mounds. I plan to try Costco’s Cala 8 with domes. I can always switch to moulds later.

For me it is totally a comfort issue. My first HA’s were BTE’s with standard tube with skeleton molds and once I got used to them they were great and the retention factor was a huge plus. My second HA’s were and are RIC;s and originally I had domes, but I didn’t like them and had retention issues, so my audiologist had micro molds made and it solved all the problems. Myself personally, I will always prefer molds because once you get used to them, there is no going back IMO! The one thing to remember is molds should NEVER hurt, so if you get them and find that they hurt your ears, they need to be altered or remade.

Agree with seb above: once I got used to molds, domes weren’t even a consideration. Domes just don’t stay in place in my ears and the feedback is terrible, even with double closed domes. Molds do take some getting used to, though. They feel a lot more full in the ear, and depending on how much venting you have, they can occlude all sounds other than those coming directly through the HAs; mostly true for those with severe/profound loss, as others will have vents.

I use soft silicone molds with no vents, and love them. However, they took a month or two to get used to.

In fairness, you were never a candidate for domes - your loss is just too great.

I had domes to begin with. A number of times I would be pulling my shirt up over my head to take it off and it would rip the HAs off and onto the floor. Then I went to hard micro molds. I will still forget about my HAs when I am pulling off a shirt and they will come off my ears and dangle but not fall off due to the retention by the molds.

True, but I do have a backup pair of HAs with double closed domes. They don’t work very well, but they are better than nothing. I’ve used them on two occasions when I had problems with my Phonak Naida UP HAs.

The key here is: “They don’t work very well.” Why don’t you have molds made for your backups and then you won’t have to settle for “they are better than nothing.” In the grand scheme of things molds for those HA’s would be money well spent.

With that audio-gram you are not getting near the benefit you would with properly vented hard molds.

Sorry to hijack the thread, but rather than posting a new thread for the same topic…

I am actually looking at getting molds made myself as I find the domes to be uncomfortable. Especially when I eat or smile for pictures… I wear the Oticon OPNs (RIC). I am looking for molds that will offer the most venting possible and also be secure in my ears. I know some conventional wisdom is to occlude the ears for people with low frequency hearing loss, but that just doesn’t work in my experience and makes speech less intelligible. Would a skeleton mold meet my needs here? I purchased my aids online so they are shipping me an impression kit then will get the molds made from the impressions made.

I actually found domes to be more comfortable than molds. Same thing, smiling can be painful. Luckily it’s not something I do very often. :rolleyes: I went with the molds because the domes kept backing out.

My molds were very painful in the beginning, but my audi worked on them quite a bit to get them tolerable. His partner said the fact that I can wiggle my ears is a problem for fitting molds. I don’t really notice them right now until someone makes me laugh real hard.

I’ve heard that the key to getting a good fit is to leave your jaw slightly agape while the impression is setting. I did not do this, you might want to try it.

I broke one of my molds recently. He stuck a dome back on there temporarily. I suddenly remembered how annoying that was. When the new mold came in he had to polish it down all over again. Takes about three or four tries to get it just right. If this happens again I’m going to ask him to make a new impression and try the slack jaw thing.

Since you’re getting them shipped, do you have someone local who can polish them down if need be?

I could try the Audi with my ENT but she doesn’t sell hearing aids so I’m not sure if she can polish the molds. Do you have an open fit mold?

Can your audi(that doesn’t sell HA’s) do the impressions for you or can they refer you to someone who can? Making the impressions yourself is a hit or miss proposition and if they don’t fit right your going to need to have them modified and that means having someone local that can actually see your ears and the molds together and do the necessary modifications.

I would have to ask. Definitely one of things I miss about Costco is the face to face element for things like this.

You may be able to get Costco to do the impressions for you and have the molds made. Last time I checked the molds were $40 ea at Costco. I know several people who have had them make new molds for their HA’s and they didn’t buy the HA’s from Costco.

Don’t know all of the terminology enough to be sure. My audi called it a “foil” mold. It’s hard, clear plastic. The walls of the mold are pretty thin.

Attached is an article on AudiologyOnline as to why it might not be a good thing to do your own ear impressions.

I’ve said elsewhere here how much I appreciated the help I got in self-programming from a really lovely, supportive local audiologist. I later bought some earmolds from her. She went on at some length about how insane she thought it was to do your own impressions for earmolds. Basically, she said the line between getting the impression material deep enough to do a good job, and getting it glued onto your eardrum, was really a fine one.

Yeah - definitely not something I want glued to my eardrum. I may end up sticking with domes unless Costco will sell me molds even though I returned my hearing aids from them.

When the Costco audi did my impressions for molds, she first inserted a barrier that protected the ear drum. I wouldn’t want to do my own impressions, but it seems any do-it-yourself kit ought to include such a barrier. Getting it positioned correctly would be another matter, of course, which is among the reasons I wouldn’t want to do it myself.