Manufacturers design most hearing aids to provide a bespoke fit for the wearer so that the patient can wear them all day. To achieve this, they have either an earmold or a dome. Earmolds are a custom piece of plastic or silicone that perfectly conforms to the shape of your ear. To create an earmold, a specialist first takes an impression of your ear. They then send this off to a manufacturer or lab to create the earmold before fitting it to the rest of the device.

By contrast, dome style assistive hearing device interfaces look like cones and aren’t customized to fit a person’s ear shape. They come in a range of standard sizes designed to fit the “average” ear, but not yours specifically.

Most people who wear behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids use earmolds. They tend to be more comfortable, encouraging them to wear their hearing aids for longer. Earmolds may also offer better performance, particularly for people who struggle to hear high-pitched sounds, such as birdsong or children talking.

In this post, we take a look at some of the signs that you’re wearing an ill-fitting hearing aid. Remember, the chances of your hearing aid not fitting you properly go up if you are using a dome-style interface with your ear. However, earmolds may also cause problems if not manufactured correctly.

Dome and earmolds, though, are not present on all devices. If you have an in-the-canal (ITC) device or you’re using a receiver-in-ear (RIC) option that uses a small tube, then the problems you experience with ill-fitting will be different. We discuss them in more detail below.

Your Voice Sounds Muffled

Wearing ill-fitting hearing aids can sometimes lead to the sensation that your head is stuck in a barrel. Everything sounds echoey and muffled.

If voices around you sound like you have a bad cold, you’ll need to seek professional help. Hearing instrument specialists can manage this sensation by changing the circuits and settings on the device itself.

You’re Getting Feedback or Notice Whistling

Another sign of an ill-fitting hearing aid is when you get a lot of feedback of whistling while using your device. In most cases, this is an indication that the earmold is actually in the wrong place or too loud. Improper positioning can cause annoying feedback that drowns out the noises you’re trying to listen to.

Hearing instrument specialists can deal with this problem by attaching a canal-lock handle to the device to hold it in place. They can also arrange for you to have a new earmold taken so that your next device fits better.

Your Voice Sounds Too Loud

Hearing the sound of your own voice while you’re speaking can be extremely annoying and distract you from what you’re trying to say. Usually, this is a sign that the vent on the earmold – a small channel that equalizes pressure behind and outside of the fitting – isn’t big enough.

If it’s too small, you’ll need to get a new earmold made. It should have a much larger hole in it to allow air to pass in and out, reducing the “head in a barrel” effect.

Your are Feeling Pressure

It can take you a couple of weeks to get used to the sensation of wearing hearing aids, but this shouldn’t cause discomfort. If you notice a persisting pressure, it could be a sign that the earmold isn’t right, or that you didn’t have the device fit by a hearing instrument specialist.

Sometimes, hearing aid wearers can experience pressure where the earmold is coming into contact with the skin. Each style of device can cause this sensation if they are not properly fitted by a professional, so ensure you don’t experience this scenario by purchasing your hearing aids from a specialist as opposed to online.

The Sound Level Is Wrong

Lastly, if the sound level on your device is wrong, it may be ill-fitting. Before you conclude there’s a problem, though, wait a few days to get used to your device. There’s often a “breaking in” period before you experience its full effects. If nothing improves after a week or so, go and see your hearing instrument specialist.

Do You Need a Hearing Aid?

If you need a hearing aid, or you think there’s a problem with the way yours is fitted, get in touch with Sound Choice Hearing by calling (505) 565-7960. Our specialists are well-versed in finding you the right type to compliment your lifestyle.