New hard plastic molds. Make sounds like shoe or leather squeaking. Help!


#1

I am totally new here and a bit lost. Thanks for your help. I just went from domes to hard plastic molds that sit in the canal with my Costco Phonac BTE hearing aids. Incredible improvement! Wouldn’t go back for the world! However, the molds make a noise like a shoe squeaking (can’t really think of how to describe it) mainly when I move. If I sit still, all is well. If I squat, chew, jump, or do things that are active then I hear the squeak. then it feels like the molds are possibly rubbing on my ear. If I push right where the wire attaches, that seems to help seat the mold better, but it isn’t long before the telltale squeak is back. It is not a feedback or electronic squeak. Nor is it my hair rubbing on the HA. I am familiar with those sounds.
Do you have ideas for me? I have an appointment with my very competent Costco provider in a week.
Thank you.
Daryl


#2

If it is the hard mold they can make some adjustments to it with a Dremel type tool to get a better fit. Sounds like it is not sitting securely and is moving a little. I have had several remakes lately trying to get a good fit, with two brands and three labs (Rexton, Phonak, and Westone labs). I don’t know why. I didn’t have any trouble getting a good custom fit in 2009 or 2013.


#3

Thank you, Don. I appreciate your input. Helps me figure out how to proceed.
Daryll


#4

The “squeak” you describe actually sounds like feedback due to leakage/fit issue. The problem with even custom-molded, hard plastic aids is that they fit for the time of day when the impression was taken. I would get a completely different size impression depending on whether it was taken at 9am, 1pm or 5pm!

During the course of any day, our ear canals swell and recede. So there can never be a super-perfect fit with so-called custom-molded HARD (unforgiving) plastic aids. Hence the rise in usage of silicone domes that are a little more forgiving in filling up the space in our ear canals and accommodating the change in size of our ear canals throughout the day.

You may be able to address this squeak by returning to Costco and having them run a feedback management program. Worth a try!


#5

Can confirm by turning the hearing aids off and seeing if they still squeak. My money is on Bluejay.


#6

mold is not providing the perfect seal. Provider needs to rectify it. Fixing a squeaking mold through feedback management (software) can reduce / eliminate the squeak but it might do it by reducing the gain you have right now so it might be a compromise


#7

Thank you, everyone! You’ve given me great education for my trip back to see the provider. I now have a much better idea of how to talk with her. I did turn off the aid and could still hear some squeak. (Which, incidentally sounds like crunchy snow on a cold night.) I so appreciate your input. Bless you!


#8

For people with profound hearing loss and being aided by a powerful hearing aid, the soft shell is the best way. It sticks better to the skin and will cause less feedback than the hard shell earmolds. I have used both soft and hard earmolds. One time, l had a special earmold made that was half soft and half hard shell.


#9

@dbplusplus is your Hearing Tracker Audiogram correct? It shows you have great hearing and no need of hearing aids.


#10

I did not upload an Audiogram. Didn’t realize something was showing and it is incorrect. I have moderate to severe hearing loss and have worn hearing aids for 10 years with good success. I am 72.


#11

Good to know, Terost. Thank you.


#12

Do you hear these sounds with fresh, dry and clean molds or with wet only? If with wet only - maybe it is a sweat and cerumen moves and create these sounds.


#13

Thank you for asking. When I put the molds in first thing in the morning (having been dried in the HA dryer), they fit tightly and don’t start to make the scrunchy type of squeak until I move around for a few minutes. If I put them in and just sit still, they are perfect. Then they just make the sounds when I move for the rest of the day. I have tried removing them and wiping them off with a dry towel, but that doesn’t fix the issue.


#14

it was severe to profound but a professional prescription of TV Connector 4.0 fully cured it :smiley:


#15

I think it is because of condensate drops inside sound tube or vents. Try to blow tubes and vents.


#16

My hearing aid specialist at Costco gave me a small squeeze bottle of Otto-Ease. It serves a a lubricant for inserting my ear mold. It would be interesting to see what applying a small amount of this product on the mold before insertion would do for your problem.


#17

Oh, thank you for that tip! And the very idea of lubricant to help insert the mold sounds good in itself.

Thank you, everyone, for all your help. What a great group I’ve been blessed to come upon in internet land. Appreciate you all.
Daryl


#18

Use a small sample of ear mold lubricant for testing. I tried it once and l got inflammation/rashes on my outer ear skin.


#19

Where are these soft-shell molds available? I am VERY allergic to the hard plastic, clear molds, but wear the shiny, flesh-colored plastic without any reaction. Not sure if my ear canals would react to a soft shell, but would LOVE to try it for the very reason you state.

(I’m assuming these are not the silicone domes tho - cuz I currently have the double-dome power domes in dark gray silicone on my Phonak receivers.)


#20

On a few occasions, I’ve used the Miracell brand of lubricant to ease a pair of hard plastic aids into my canals. Same as Terost, I got WILDLY inflamed ear canals each time as a result - and that in turn led to otitis.

If a hard plastic mold isn’t fitting into the ear canal with ease, the fitting is to blame.