Canal earmolds are similar to dome-style earmolds. They're made from the canal portion of the impression, and are designed to be inconspicuous, while providing good ear retention and a customized fit. Canal molds require a relatively long ear canal to fit properly. No portion extends into the concha bowl—they're completely contained within the canal.
When a hearing loss patient selects a hearing aid style—such as behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids—custom-fit earmolds are often needed to ensure optimum performance and comfort.
An earmold is a piece of plastic, acrylic or other soft material shaped to fit a patient's ear canal, and/or the outer ear structure (concha) surrounding the ear canal. Earmold styles vary according to level of hearing loss, and the style of hearing aid with which they're paired. In many cases, earmolds sit inside the ear canal, hidden from view. Other times, earmolds sit in the concha bowl as well as in the ear canal. Because earmolds worn in the concha so closely match the ear's natural contours and skin tone, they're hard to spot.
If you require or request a custom ear mold, your hearing care professional will take an impression of your ear canal and outer ear using a quick-setting silicone-like substance. The impression is sent to a specialty lab where it's turned into a replica of your ear structures.