Data shows that roughly 15% of Americans experience some degree of hearing difficulty. Yet, aging alone is the source of many common hearing issues.
For anyone who experiences hearing loss, you need ear impressions to help you find a hearing solution. But, what are ear impressions, and how are they different from a hearing aid?
This article is going to tell you all you need to know about ear impressions and their benefits.
All About Ear Impressions
Ear impressions are custom-made models of your ears. The audiologist sends the impressions to a manufacturer who makes an accurate ear mold. Then, they can create custom hearing aids and hearing protection devices that fit your ears perfectly using the impressions.
The ear impression process is a little different depending on which procedure you get. There is the standard or 3D process. Both techniques use an impression gun, which looks like a syringe.
First, the audiologist will put an otoblock into the ear. The otoblock is cotton or foam, depending on how deep the impression will be and the shape of your inner ear. Its purpose is to block the fluid or solution from going all the way into the ear canal.
Then the audiologist will gently insert the impression gun into the ear. Precision is vital to ensure safety and get an accurate mold.
The standard method uses a syringe to fill the ear with a solution that will harden to create the mold. Most audiologists use silicone.
For the 3D method, the impression gun still enters the ear, but there is no solution. Instead, a camera at the end takes pictures of the inner ear, then comes out. Thus, the 3D process is slightly less invasive.
In general, both processes only take about 5-10 minutes.
It’s important to talk to your audiologist to review the process. Not all ear impressions are the same. Different conditions require different treatments. Thus, the audiologist needs to know at what depth to create the mold.
Also, there are some risks involved, especially if you have diabetes or are taking blood thinners. Your audiologist will review your medical history, give you a physical exam, and let you know when you can get your ear impressions.
The Benefits of Ear Impressions
Having a custom mold of your ears allows you to receive the best treatment for your hearing problems. You can opt for a deep-fit solution that goes into the external ear canal beyond the second bend.
Deep-fit solutions have minimal residual volume and increase output at the eardrum. In addition, there is an increase in high-frequency gain and a decrease in the occlusion effect.
Furthermore, a deep-fit solution is more secure. Dislocation is less likely to occur during jaw movement. Perhaps the most significant benefit of a deep-fit solution is that viewers cannot see it. As a result, wearers will have more confidence in their hearing solutions.
Talk to Your Audiologist
It’s clear ear impressions are beneficial for anyone who struggles with a hearing condition. They create a path for you to get the highest quality medical care available for your ears.
To get started with your ear impressions today, contact us at New York Hearing Center. Our skilled audiologists are here to help you find your hearing solution.