SoLar Powered Hearing Aids
Distributor: Solar Ear
What Are the Benefits?
Howard Weinstein is the founder of Solar Ear, a Brazil based company that makes rechargeable low cost hearing aids by people who are deaf for people who are hearing impaired in developing countries
Earmolds are used with behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. Tubing runs from the BTE to the earmold, which fits into your ear canal. Sound travels through the tubing from the BTE into your ear. There are a variety of different types of earmolds from which you can choose. Some choices may be based on personal preferences or cost, while others should be dictated by your hearing needs. Different manufacturers have different names for their products, but all typically make earmolds of these types. An earmold may be classified as occluding or non-occluding. Occluding earmolds close off the ear canal, while non-occluding earmolds do not. This is important because for some types of hearing loss, occluding the ear changes the way you hear low-pitched sounds.
Canal Mold The canal mold, sometimes called the completely-in-canal mold, is the smallest type of earmold. It is an occluding type of mold. It is generally used for less severe hearing loss and requires a relatively long ear canal to fit properly. A canal lock mold has a protrusion that extends into the concha of the ear to help keep it in place.
Skeleton Molds When that protrusion into the concha extends farther, you have a semi-skeleton mold, a type of occluding mold. Semi-skeleton molds are good for individuals with unusually flat or shaped concha areas, and for people with limited dexterity. Skeleton molds are generally comfortable, easy
to retain, and appropriate for people with mild to severe hearing loss.
Shell Molds In a shell mold, another occluding style, the part of the earmold that fits into the concha is hollowed out, much like a sea shell; shell molds are for moderate to severe hearing loss. Half-shell molds do not work well for severe hearing loss.
Non-Occluding Earmolds Non-occluding earmolds are available in essentially the same types as occluding earmolds with two important differences. First, the part of the earmold that sits in the canal is smaller, just larger than the tubing it holds. Second, the earmold generally has one or more vents drilled into it to further prevent occlusion.