This week in Audicus blogs, find out how to fit hearing aid ear buds for maximum comfort and efficiency!           


It is common practice to select the hearing aid that is right for you based on your type of hearing loss. Different hearing aids are recommended for individuals that have high frequency hearing loss, low frequency hearing loss, and differing degrees of hearing loss in both ears.


In addition to finding the right type of hearing aid that works for you, it is also important to have properly fitting hearing aids for maximum comfort and efficiency. Hearing aid ear buds that are too large or too small may fall out during use, a problem that may increase the chances of you breaking or losing your hearing aid.


Physical Cues During Hearing Aid Ear Bud Fitting


Hearing aid ear buds that are too small may cause a type of whistle that becomes audible to the user. This is because hearing aids that fit loosely can cause excess noise to be transmitted from the receiver, which then comes into contact with the microphone input and triggers a feedback loop.


One of the most obvious signs that your hearing aid ear buds are too big is that they cause physical discomfort in addition to lowered sound quality. A plausible exception to this rule concerns individuals who are wearing hearing aids for the first time, in which case the pain will be present for the first couple of days and eventually subside.


Not only can an ill-fitting ear bud be harmful to the ear, it can also discourage the hearing aid wearer from using a hearing aid, despite it being a necessity.


Many ear buds have a duration of only a few months. Although you may have chosen the right fitting, it is also necessary to replace the ear buds when necessary. Regardless of time frame, replace the ear bud if it becomes stiff, damaged or changes colors. Typical sizes for ear buds can include small (6.5 mm), medium (7.9 mm) and large (9.5 mm).


Hearing Aid Ear Buds and the Occlusion Effect


It can be difficult to find hearing aid ear buds that can be worn comfortably due to our tendency to view our own voices as being too loud or booming. This is known as the occlusion effect and is more common in individuals with mild hearing loss at relatively low frequencies.


The occlusion effect can be lessened by using open-fit hearing aids. Roughly 40% of BTE, or Behind-The-Ear, hearing aids are open-fit. Usually a BTE applies a custom-made ear mold, as well as a silicone dome or a foam tip.


In reality it may take multiple fittings and returns before you find the hearing aid ear buds that are right for you. It is possible to take digital scans of the human ear in order to construct hearing aid technology with an accurate fit. Feel free to consult an audiologist for additional guidance on finding hearing aid ear buds that fit.


Sources: National Center for Biotechnology Information

By: Aaron Rodriques