Does My Ear Shape Affect The Type of Hearing Aid I Should Get?
Most hearing aids adjust to most wearer’s ears, and not the other way around. It’s a principle of mass production. But, if a hearing aid does not fit properly then it can’t perform correctly. There are solutions for this.
Our article explains the principles of hearing aids, which requires delving into how human hearing works. After we explain the human-hearing aid interface, we’ll share what to do if your ears are too large, or hearing aids are too big for your ears.
The Different Parts of the Human Ear
When we speak of ear rings, ear pods, ear muffs, and so on, most of us are thinking of the bits we can see, However, from an audiologist’s perspective, that is only the beginning of the story. That’s because their definition includes the outer auricle and ear canal, the ear drum, the middle ear, and the inner ear too
THE OUTER AURICLE AND EAR CANAL IN HEARING
The outer auricle or pinna as some call it, captures external sounds, and funnels them down the ear canal for the middle and inner ear zones to process. Hearing aids temporarily interrupt and modify this flow. However, for the system to work the hearing aid must fit correctly and there must be no soundwave leakage past it.
THE ROLE OF THE TYMPANIC MEMBRANE OR EAR DRUM
The ear drum is a thin, cone-shaped membrane that separates the external ear from the middle ear. It captures sound vibrations traveling down the ear canal, and then sends them in amplified form to the middle ear.
Hearing aids cannot influence what happens beyond this. Every hearing aid must fit the ear shape correctly to do their job properly. This influences the design of the ear mold or ear dome interface.
THE MIDDLE EAR AND INNER EAR SYSTEMS
This is the point where the miracle of hearing really begins. The tympanic membrane sends the amplified sound waves through the middle ear to the inner ear, where these become vibrations in the fluid in the cochlear. There, hair cells transduce the mechanical vibrations to electrical impulses. These travel along nerves to the brain that understands them.
Hearing Aid Interfaces and How They Work
Early hearing aids were so bulky they could not fit into pockets, let alone ear canals. Hence, their interface points were single earphones that pressed against ears. Users had to hold them firmly in place to get the full benefit. And course their auricles were uneven making this an endless challenge. The solution lay in finding a way to attach the interface.
The outer ear seems a mighty complicated structure at first glance. However, it does a superb job of collecting sound, and transforming it into directional and other information. And this includes favoring human speech frequencies, and detecting where they come from.
BEHIND EAR HEARING AIDS
Behind-the-ear hearing aids traditionally use ear molds that extend slightly down the ear canal, while stabilizing themselves by slipping under the cymba on one edge. These work well after a technician painstakingly perfects a crude mold, however there is a cost attached to this.
Ear molds require two visits to an audiologist, one to take the mold and the other to fit it. A third visit may be necessary if the hearing aid mold doesn’t fit correctly. When we googled we discovered this can cost in the order of $75 per ear or $150 a pair.
Blue Angels Hearing challenged this method eleven years ago, using our assumption the hearing aid industry feeds off itself, while the customer pays. We discovered ear bud domes work equally well, for a fraction of the price and they are available off the shelf.
Thus began our journey to develop hearing aids the world can afford. We supply a set of three different-size domes with each of our XB30 Behind Ear, and XI24 Behind Ear rechargeable digital hearing aids. And we can assure you from experience the chances are minimal your ears are too big, or your ears are too small for our hearing aids.
IN CANAL HEARING AIDS
Diagram of the Human Ear Canal
We took this logic further with our X23 In-Canal hearing aids that fit snugly, discreetly, and almost invisibly in the outer part of the ear canal, again using our proprietary domes to ensure a perfect, sound-proof fit.
In the unlikely event neither of these solutions work, then you may need a minor surgical intervention. However, this is outside our knowledge zone, and we have to refer you to an audiologist for further advice.
We Guarantee Our Products Will Fit Your Ears
We are running an exceptional sale to clear stock for a fresh order coming in soon. Our XB30, XI24, and XP23 hearing aids are available right now, and at exceptionally low prices compared to the market. If none of the domes fit your outer ear properly, then they should qualify for our money-back, return and refund policy. This makes it safe to order from us in confidence.