Ear molds are used for so much more than just hearing aids. In fact, if you have ever seen a professional musician, newscaster, or interpreter who appears to be using an in-the-ear speaker but you cannot see the actual device, chances are that person is wearing a customized ear mold.
The outer ear is a biological soundwave catching device. While it is great at collecting sound waves to allow you to hear music or watch television, it also picks up a lot of nuisance noise and distracting sound waves, some of which can be harmful to the structures of your inner ear. An ear mold solves this problem by limiting background sound waves entering the ear.
If you work in construction, in the airline industry, in a noisy factory, or in any environment in which your ears are subjected to loud noise, you can preserve your hearing with customized ear molds. Your audiologist can take an ear mold impression that is perfectly customized to your unique anatomy. Instead of wearing over-the-counter earplugs, you can have one-of-a-kind ear protection made for each one of your ears. The sound blocking ability is unparalleled, and so is the protection for your ears.
Ear molds for musicians
People who take their music seriously are constantly looking for the best sound experience. This requires a pristine recording, expert mastering, and high-quality equipment; however, these things mean nothing without good speakers. Audiologist-constructed ear molds offer the highest quality sound experience possible.
A customized ear mold provides three main advantages for the wearer:
- The ear mold fits precisely within your ear’s unique anatomy
- Sound is transmitted clearly—unabated and undiminished—from your device to your eardrum
- Extraneous sounds and vibrations are blocked from reaching your eardrum, including damaging overpressures
Ear molds provide the clearest, most faithful representation of your chosen audio. They have become the must-have component of every serious musician’s sound system.
Concert goers may also benefit from custom molds. Musician ear plugs can protect sensitive structures in the ears but have special filtering abilities that don’t distort the music.
Ear molds for swimming and water sports
Every year, thousands of children and adults show up to the offices of pediatricians and ENTs because of outer ear infections they received from swimming. In fact, many people simply avoid the water because of problems associated with water in their ears. A customized ear mold may be the solution for people to get back in the pool, lake, or ocean.
Over-the-counter ear plugs are usually unsuitable as ear protection in the water. The generic shape often allows water to get into the ear canal despite the plug. Likewise, over-the-counter earplugs are made of materials that are not suitable for use underwater.
Bergen Audiology solves this problem by taking a customized ear mold impression and creating a customized ear “plug” using water-safe materials. Because of its one-of-a-kind design and construction, a molded swimming plug prevents water from getting into the ear canal and is suitable for hours of training or play.
Taking an ear mold impression
An ear mold is created by taking an ear mold impression or cast of your auricle (the outer, visible part of the ear) and the ear canal. An audiologist places a substance, usually foam or cotton, in front of your eardrum to protect it during the impression or cast-making process. The substance used to create the ear mold, usually an acrylic, vinyl, or silicone, is initially pliable and can be molded to your unique anatomy within the ear canal. This material hardens and the cast is then removed, along with the protective material. After, a few final adjustments are made, and the ear mold is complete.
The entire process takes less than 15 minutes and is completely painless.
If you have any questions about ear mold impressions or want to schedule an appointment, please contact Bergen Audiology.