New to hearing aids - do not like the mould

Hi

I lost my hearing 6 weeks ago. I got a pair of HAs last week “Opticon Spirit Zest” BTE from NHS . Sound is better but I am still finding voices hard to pickup, and can not hear the TV.

My main problem is the moulds in my ears (soft pink fiil my ear) They are so uncomfortable. I have been back 3 times to have them adjust but they still make ears saw and can not wear them all day.

The other thing is when I am eating I get a noise in my right ear each time I chew,I a simlar noise when walking. Is this normal?

Are there other types of moulds that might suit me better? I heard of open fit but I think my hearing is too bad for that.

Thanks foryour ideas

Are these custom made molds?

I think some people’s ears are just more difficult than others to fit. My ears change shape so much when I eat or smile that aids either fall out or hurt. I’ve always ended up taking pliers and a file to my earmoulds, but that only worked out OK because I only needed the bottom bit of the volume selection, any more volume and it would have made them feed back badly.

I think they should probably start again, and maybe try to make a different kind of mould like a canal only mould or a half shell, depending where it’s sore. Mine always hurt at the front of the ear, so any half shell or smaller is fine (but causes feedback issues), I can’t have that little nib thing that goes under the front of your ear that’s totally agony.

With regard to “open fit” there’s a few different ways that is interpreted if you see here for where I was confused! http://www.hearingaidforums.com/showthread.php?t=5859&highlight=conundrum

It may be your loss is too severe for a “true” open fit but perhaps an occluded dome fitting might work for you. If the Oticon doesn’t have such a dome they should consider a different hearing aid like something from the Siemens Reflex range as they definitely have double occluded dome options, I know of a few people who wear power or even superpower versions of the Reflex with a thin tube dome fitting. They may as well let you try and see what happens, I’d rather put up with the feedback (which is pretty well controlled by the feedback manager) than have hearing aids so sore I just take them out.

Incidentally, I find I need the TV even louder now I have my hearing aids, but at least it stays clear as it gets louder. Before when I turned up the volume it just went distorted and garbled, now it gets louder without losing clarity. I still prefer an FM system for the TV though, it’s far superior to any other way of watching it.

Hi yes they are custom made.

Thaks for your feedback

The mould in the right is starting to feel alright now but still getting noises when I am eating and walking, also can not just forget about it. Stop wearing the left one for the past 2 days makes my ear too saw, will try again tomorrow.

Sounds like there might be better mould options for me.

I see the Augologiest next week I will talkit threw with her then, Also finding everything is too loud,and any background noise make things unclear.

Is there any website where I can see the dome, half dome moulds?

Thanks again:)

If you are hearing yourself chewing and stuff and it’s very loud to you, you may need to have a vent put in your ear mold. If you already have a vent, and it is plugged up with a cover, the cover can be swapped out for other sizes. The more the mold is closed up, the more you’ll sound really loud to yourself as well as really bassy. The more open the vent it, the more natural and soft the sound since the bass of your own voice is allowed to escape through the vent hole. No expert, but this has been my experience.

On this page (chosen as a random example of a picture, I have never used them): Hearing Aid Spares Pricelist - Domes

The top picture is of a “true” open fit dome, the one labelled “Phonak/Unitron power dome. Gridded” is a double occluded dome. In fact, “Siemens double dome for Life Models” is the exact one that fits the Reflex aids, it’s the one I have.

Regards the noise, maybe the noise is coming from the hearing aid moving around, try holding the aid still against your head when you chew or walk and see if it stops. If the aid has too much freedom to move around it will rub on your hair and head and make a noise, so you might need a shorter length of tubing on it or to experiment with where it sits on your ear, particularly if you also wear glasses, you need to figure out where everything is going to go. It may have nothing at all to do with the problem with the mould, it’s a bit of trial and error to work out where each problem comes from.

Find out what programs you have on your aid when you see audiology again, background noise is always difficult but there are programming options that make it easier to cope with. They tend to put on the minimum of stuff for a new hearing aid user as they reckon you have enough on your plate, and perhaps are not experienced enough to comment on what you want. It is a high cause of hearing aid rejection, however, so keep at it.

You will probably find you actually hear less well in your peripheral hearing, as digital aids are usually set to focus on what is in front of you, so if there is a washing machine, car indicator clicker, TV, train, whatever to your direct front and someone is talking to your side then it doesn’t work well for that situation. They should set the hearing aid at a lower volume on a first fit so it doesn’t overwhelm you, but NHS cost-cutting means they usually go for the full whack on day 1, which makes adjustment very hard. If you have a volume control (suspect the Spirit Zest doesn’t) then keep it down low for a few days, even if you think you cannot hear anything at all, it doens’t pay to rush into this process.

A general comment on custom moulds:- It seems that they are generally made of hard material and many of us have some complaints about them.
However I hear that some people have custom moulds made out of soft material and they seem to be much more satisfied with them.
If this is the case, why are soft moulds not supplied as standard. Is it because of difficulty in manufacture and therefore higher prices.

Gilbert

Basically probably yes. If they get it right first time then costs are very similar, however if you get a hard mould wrong it can be filed and cut and remoulded. Most soft material moulds say that they need to be discarded and started again if the mould is not perfect.

It is politically useful for the government to continue the “cash-strapped NHS guilt” motif and discourage people from trying to utilise the services they have paid their insurance for, however they actually have such purchasing power that things that cost individuals a lot of money cost the NHS very little indeed, it’s usually an issue of negotiated long-term contracts, that something new comes out and they are stuck with a 3-year deal to purchase 4million hard lucite moulds.

Molds should fit. They shouldn’t hurt, they shouldn’t cause feedback problems, they shouldn’t pop out. They should fit comfortably to the point where you forget they are there. If they don’t then they need to be sent back and remade, free of charge. One trick my audiologist told me to do, and I have done everytime I have new molds made is when he puts that soft material in your ear, open and close you mouth a few times as the material is hardening. I haven’t had a problem with mold fittings since then.

I’ve had hearing aids for 5 years now for severe loss from meniere’s. Just switched to Unitron Passports, which seem great. The moulds, however, have continued to be a problem. Because of my loss, I have to have full custom moulds in order to get enough volume without feedback. The soft moulds make my ears so sore that I can’t use them. Every time the audiologist shaves a bit off, a new sore spot develops. Now I’m using the hard moulds which don’t make my ears sore at all but I have trouble with feedback. The audi has been patient, taking new impressions, and trying again–all under warrantly once I paid for the first set. Does anyone know of other options in terms of the kinds of moulds available? Or is it that I just have to live with the choice or sore ears or feedback?

I’m frustrated–I have these great (and expensive) hearing aids and crummy moulds.

Kathy

Tell the audiologist you want new molds made. He tried the shaving thing and it didn’t work. So now you want new molds, at no extra cost to you.

Profile the feedback against your hearing loss …

  1. Create the feedback.

  2. Measure the frequency. Your audi will need an acoustic frequency analyser for this.

  3. If the feedback is outside the main speech area, drop the SOFT gains at the f/b frequencies. If the f/b frequency is within the speech band … err, umm … we need a Plan C.

(Without a frequency analyser you will need to trial and error reduce gains until you find the bad frequency … a bit tedious)

Sure, you will lose some boost - but this is an emergency!