I am near the end of my trial with the Rexton Trax 42 hearing aids. There has been some improvement from my previous HA’s but not as much as I might have hoped. I have occlusion in my left ear in particular and wonder if I get molds for comfort, would they also improve my hearing.

I talked to my fitter about this and asked about the vented molds. She seemed to be against this saying that due to the hearing loss in the left ear I would get too much leakage/feedback. As it is now, I often reposition the left (double domed) as it seems to completely seal my ear canal and I find the sound distorted and uncomfortable. With my previous HA’s I often didn’t wear the left HA at all.

If the molds are not vented, can they still help with occlusion?

Ask to try the tulip and single dome. If you have feedback, they may be able to program it away or to insignificance. Your low level losses should let one or the other be worth the try.

I can’t stand the sealed domes. I have custom molds that were fit very deep, which helps with occlusion. Mine have the select-a-vent and I ended up using the smallest vent and I get no occlusion. Having a very deep fit is the key. The tulip domes may also work for you. I used those as long as I could.

Thanks Don and Ken. I am leaning toward the custom molds but have a single dome I can try in the meantime. My fitter seems reluctant to give me anything with a vent but without it I suspect I will still have occlusion. Don, did your hearing improve at all with the custom molds?

Yes, it did help getting the deep fitting mold and small vent. I started with the largest vent and went down the list of vent sizes until I figured out I could have the smallest vent and still not have occlusion. The sound is better with the small vent. I even tried the vent insert with no vent at all, and although I liked the sound I did get occlusion. As I like to say about occlusion, you can chew or hear, pick one.

Anyway, the molds are very comfortable and stay in place in my ears. Mine are the Westone soft molds with the adjustable vent. You get a little card of inserts of different sizes.

It is interesting how individual the experiences are. I had nothing but the problems with vented molds. They cause a noticeable reduction in gain for me, and even with new hearing aid models, the feedback is always lurking around. I didn’t get any plugs with my ear molds, so I ended up plugging the vents myself with some putty. If your hearing loss needs a lot of gain, and the occlusion is still the issue, I second Don’s suggestions- use a deep fit, to reduce possibility of feedback, and the smallest vent possible. The bigger the vent diameter, the bigger the gain loss caused by it.

With your loss, you should never have had vented molds anyway.

You’re right, when I switched to Costco, their audiologist ordered ear molds with a vent without discussing it with me. My old independent audiologist never used vents for me.