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need some possibilities regarding CICs

Matthew S. Staben mstaben at umich.edu
Tue May 30 07:42:52 EST 1995

shwl at aol.com (Shwl) wrote:

>It looks as if many possibilities have been considered, however, I wonder
>if this 
>dulled hearing reaction may not in some way be related to the fit of the
>case.  You mention that there is no acoustic feedback, leading me to
>believe the fit is reasonably tight.  Perhaps after wearing the aids for a
>few hours, the dullness is a tactile type reaction.  I experience a
>similiar sensation when my glasses bows are too tight.  There is no
>sensation until after they are worn awhile.  Perhaps taking the CICs and
>grinding away slighty any prominences on the case might reduce this
>sensation.  Of course the unpleasant side effect is that this could
>introduce feedback.  It's an interesting fitting dilemma. Keep us posted
>on any positive resolution.

	As a person with a severe-to-profound sensoneural hearing loss, I am
able to relate to this sensation.  As it is, my hearing loss is such
that any alteration in the current level of hearing is noticeable --
probably since it is on the threshold to deafness.  I have found that
if I apply pressure to various parts of my outer ear, the sound
reception improves in terms of reception of the soundwaves -- as it
may be (unnoticeably to myself) "injured" sound.  I've also found that
sometimes the fit of a behind-the-ear type of hearing aid, and its
mold, may be detrimental as well.  

I have found three factors that affect my hearing capabilities:  

1.	The length of the tube from the ear loop of the hearing aid to
the earmold.  It should be just long enough so that the hearing aid
hangs snugly behind the ear.  

2.	The size of the hearing aid.  This is usually a static
variable, as sometimes the hearing aid available is the only one that
works well.  

3.	The earmold.  There are two basic kinds:  The first is the
kind of earmold that plugs into the ear, filling every crevice and
more or less forces the wearer to "shove it in," and when new
sometimes with an application of petroleum jelly.  These earmolds tend
to be rubbery and pliable, and wears "thin" after a year or two of use
requring replacement.  Silicone is the usual material used. 
	The second kind, the kind I prefer, are best described as rocks.  They
are made of a hardened plastic/silicone and do not actually plug up
the entire outer ear -- but instead have a slightly wider canal plug
which is ground to perfection.  These slip into the ear with ease and
when in, feedback is eliminated since the wide portion of the
canal-part of the mold forms a hermetic type of seal.  They are in
fact, rather loosely fit.  

	In any case, I have found that with my combination, a regular
behind-the-ear hearing aid -- longish tubes -- and the earmold of the
second type described above, my ears are able to utilize my hearing
aids to the fullest.

	If you have any questions, contact my audiologist, Eric Henke, at
Cascade Hearing Aids in Spokane, Washington.  


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