Phonak hearing aids - removal tool broke off!

My hearing aids are about two years old. They are behind the ear with a closed inner ear piece (a mold?)

The removal tool - the small plastic piece with a little ball at the end - that helps me remove the aid has broken clean off! You can’t even feel where it used to be!

This happened to me before with my original (about five year old) set - my current ones are Phonax Audeo B, the others were also Phonax.

Is it true they will have to replace the entire mold - I was quoted a $1000 amount to do so - just so I can have the little piece back?? I don’t want to be removing it by pulling on the tubing that connects the receiver (behind my ear) to the inner closed mold sitting in my ear canal.

This totally sucks! Has this happened to anyone else, and if it has happened to you, how did you solve it?

No. That’s predatory. Go elsewhere.

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If you had someone with a micro drill (like with a Dremel), drill a hole into the solid part of the earmold, and if you could find a piece of acrylic filament (3D printing community calls it PMMA), you could glue it in place with acrylic cement.

Short of the acrylic filament, you could use something like fishing monofilament, and if you could find a drill that matched it well enough, it might cement with acrylic cement (I can’t find any reference for the exact polymer of fishing monofilament; they say it’s a mixture of different kinds). The snugger the mechanical fit, the more likely the acrylic cement will work.

If you were to try the fishing line, I would suggest that in addition to the snug fit, you should rough up the monofilament with a piece of fine sandpaper. The acrylic cement will dissolve a thin layer of the earmold acrylic that lines the hole, and that will re-solidify after fitting itself into the micro abrasive texture on the monofilament so that even if the acrylic cement couldn’t dissolve much of the monofilament, the dissolved layer of acrylic earmold would solidify as a kind of velcro anchor to the monofilament. From what I know of adhesives this would have a good chance of working.

Just an idea.

I have just been pulling the wire on the RIC, instead of the little line. Maybe I’m wearing it out early, but so far everything seems fine.

A good tech can replace those in the office in about 10 minutes.

The way to insure that they don’t continue to break is to make sure that you pull the mold out at a back angle. Your ear canals have a forward angle to them. Most people grab that cord and pull at a forward angle which exerts a lot of force on the retrieval cord that isn’t necessary. Pulling at a backwards angle produces less stress on the cord.


And in general handling you don’t want to flex the cord as much as you can avoid it. Any flexure of the cord fatigues the material right at the stress point where it enters the earmold, and will eventually break there.

Sounds like you’ve been lucky. This will damage your receiver at some point by stressing the wires.

Thanks for the props, Neville. I think it might be where I am (Florida) that makes the price high, or maybe they just wanted me to opt for the newest!greatest!technology!

Thanks for that idea, haggis, about the acrylic cement. I did try something similar with my old pair and it only worked for a week or so.

I really don’t want to be pulling on the wires, Jeff. I am glad it’s working for you so far, but I would rather not do that. Thanks for the suggestion, however.

I am curious, eric, if they really can be replaced in the office, why was I told it had to be sent out and would cost $1000 to replace? I am not implying you are lying or trying to start a fight - this is really good information and you’re leading me to believe I am being taken advantage of, as Neville suggested. I really very much appreciate the advice about how to remove the aid from my ear - I have been pulling straight out and I probably put a LOT of pressure on such a small piece by doing so.

Thanks for the information, everyone. I really do appreciate the advice.

I’ve been pulling that wire since February of 2017, still going strong, that’s 2-1/2 years so far. FWIW, I pull gently, work my jaw a little and it slides right out without restriction. I understand others might not want to do that, but on a prior aid, I pulled the fishing line instead, and it didn’t last 6 months, although the downside of breaking a fishing line vs a RIC wire is quite a bit less.

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I suspect you got connected with an unscrupulous dispenser who is hard up for money and thought you might be a sucker.

Or it may just be they don’t know what they are doing. Either way, it’s an easy fix for an experienced tech. I do about 3 or 4 of these a week on CIC’s and RIC rcvrs.

I bought multiple custom-molds for my RIC hearing aids.

Eric is right, very easy fix. I used to teach hearing aid repair classes to fellow professionals. When it came to modification and repair, most were clueless. A small drill, some monofilament fishing line and super glue do the trick. You can add the ball back on the end of the line with a drop of small super glue with the line hanging down and wait for it to cure. Unfortunately, the old school modification ability is not being taught anymore and newer practitioners may have no idea how to do the quick easy repairs anymore.


You should call those gougers back on the phone and tell them several “experts” at the HA Forum have counseled you on how much it costs and how to replace this earwire-tug!

For now, if you have trouble removing the molds without the use of a tug-line, just push on your lower ear from BEHIND - using your thumb - and you can usually work the hard mold out to a point where it can be grabbed by your fingernails.

Hope you get the tug-line replaced. It sounds like a simple enough procedure, but perhaps it is GLUED in at the factory and that’s why it may need to be sent in? No idea.

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So Friday I went to my audiologist office. They must have drilled a hole in the ear mold and put the removal tool back in.

Sunday, it broke again. The “plan b” is for the mold to be sent out and the entire thing redone so I get the removal wire replaced. Or at least, that’s what I was told on Friday. But they were also supremely confident it would not break…again. So.

I am really unhappy with this office for several reasons that have nothing to do with their competency or lack thereof, which I will not bore anyone with.

I just tried your suggestion, bluejay. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m doing it correctly because the mold did not move one little bit. So I guess I am going to have to use the wire, which I am really not looking forward to doing, at all, really.

I appreciate everyone’s comments. It makes me feel less upset and feeling less like I’m being taken advantage of.

Hopefully if the mold is remade I will get another two years out of it - I have a warranty until July 2021 - then I’m going shopping for a different audiologist and a different brand, because this product is cheaply made and too expensive.