Questions on my slimtip molds

My audiologist gave me the following prescription for me to bring to the hearing aid specialist:

closed custom earpiece with pressure venting

During my initial meeting with the HAS a slimtip or a cshell was mentioned. Eventually a Phonak slim-tip was choosen by the HAS to go with my Phonak Audeo Marvel M50-R.

This is my slimtip:



Now my questions.

Q1: is this considered a Acoustically Optimized Venting (AOV) mold?
Q2: what do the numbers mean which are printed on the slim-tip? It shows:

114 981 M
2251D4FM

(During programming of the HA my HAS explictly had to lookup a number (maybe 1 of these?) related to the earpiece and entered it in the Phonak Target software.)

Q3: Is there a way for the HAS to look/see (or other means) to verify if the fit of the earpiece is like it should?

Extra info on Q3:

this is my first earpiece so I have nothing to compare. This earpiece gives me a slight pressurepoint resulting in a minor pain sensation. If I slightly move the earpiece by pressing on the extension which anchors in my ear shell the discomfort is gone for a period but after a while the discomfort returns. It seems the earpiece can rotate a tiny amount. It is really a minor pain sensation, I am unsure if this will go away over time after getting accustomed? I wear this earpiece now for 7 days.

Furthermore I sometimes experience a little resonance in certain sounds which seem to go away if I touch the anchor extension of the earpiece. Please note I am not sure if I am describing this resonance correctly and if it is really affected by touching the earpiece anchor.

Q4: my HAS inserted the receiver (2M) into the slimtip using her fingers instead of using the Phonak specific tool. Is inserting the receiver something which can be done incorrectly resulting in suboptimal sound?

Q5: how come Phonak does not provide cleaning instructions on the venting channel while a clogged venting channel causes discomfort and probably also impacts sound? My HAS also did not mention I should clean the vent. At one moment I heard annoying popping sounds which I believe were caused by the clogged vent.

A lot of questions… hopefully somebody can share their knowledge/experience on 1 or more questions!

Hey MKL. I use Phonak Slimtips. For 30+ years I havw worn molds. I got silicone ones when I got my KS9 form Costco.
As far as I have read there should be 2 numbers on your slimtips. One can go into the fitting software and it recognizes vent size and is part of the fitting. Vent size as I understand can be from zero to 3mm. Mine are pressure vent which is very small I guess.
Other number is record of your mold and Phonak can duplicate if needed. These should not hurt and may need to be refit. I am NO expert. Others can chime in.

I believe the mold is made by Phonak and they would take your audiogram information into consideration when making it, so yes it would be considered “AOV” Edit: Apparently mistaken. See posts below.
I’m unaware of any way the HAS could look up the earpiece.
Earpiece will take getting used to, but it should not hurt.
Using fingers to insert the receiver is fine. It is possible to get the orientation wrong. I’ve found that mine fit better if I turn mine 90 degrees as they don’t back out of my ear like they do when inserted as designed.
There’s a dental floss like tool that’s very handy for cleaning the vents. The ends are stiff plastic so they can be inserted through the vent and the middle is a fluffier material that will clean out any wax. Ask your HAS about it.

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@MKL

Your vent does look completely blocked.

What @MDB says about getting the dental floss stuff. That is really good to use.

Ah, I did not realize I posted a phote with a clogged vent… I use a needle/pin to insert into the vent, its diameter is slightly less as the venting hole so I guess that works out fine.

Not necessarily. According to the Phonak-blog below should all newer custom shells have a coupling code:

Quote: “As of February 2020, all custom shells will be provided a coupling code, printed on the shell, if the vent ordered is an AOV or if the vent is a ‘user-selected vent’ (e.g. 2mm). That means that hearing care professionals can now input the exact vent size (AVM) for the custom earpiece into the fitting software by simply entering the coupling code created for the ordered vent. This change will improve the hearing performance of all custom earpiece fittings”

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Ok, so “114 981” is my specific coupling code which relates to the Acoustic Vent Mass which relates to the diameter and lenght of the vent.

I don’t think my HAS choose a user-selected vent diameter (during my very first visit to the HAS) so I would conclude my mold is of the AOV type (as I did bring my audiogram during that first visit)…

I don’t understand why you conclude you made a mistake?

See Sterei’s response. I may have been right for your specific case, but I couldn’t have “known” it.

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Today I had another appointment with my HAS. I now have the following updates on my own questions.

Q1: confirmed, my slip-tip mold is of the AOV type
Q3: there is no way for the HAS to verify the fitting besides listening to feedback from the wearer (which sucks because I don’t know how a well-fit mold should feel/sound)
Q4: I would expect the receiver and its wire to be delicate hardware but apparently it is not as she pulled/pushed/twisted it a lot this morning after complaining about the fit of my slim-tip mold
Q5: my HAS provided a short string of plastic (which looks like thick fish-line-wire) to clean the vent

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Snug?

Better sound?

Overall better Altho I don’t know if you had domes before?

Doesn’t cause pain.

Q3 update: today I saw my audiologist again, she was able to conclude from a REM measurement (using Audioscan Verifit 2) my slimtip mold is not closing off the ear canal properly resulting in leakage resulting in suboptimal sound which the hearing aid cannot overcome. I don’t understand why my HAS was unable to recognize there are ways to measure the fitting/effectiveness of the slimtip.