OTO Hearing Products
The Correct Method

Proper Ear Impression Practices

Getting the right fit for your earmold is an essential first step
The First Step

Creating a Lasting Ear Impression

The ear impression is perhaps the most important step in the hearing product fitting process. It must accurately depict the outer ear in order that the most comfortable and acoustically correct fitting can occur. Taking ear impressions is not a difficult process if the directions are closely followed.

Taking a proper earmold impression is an extremely important part of fitting hearing aids and affiliated products. The dispenser should have knowledge of possible medical problems as well as important anatomical factors, not being aware of these factors, could potentially physically harm a patient. Developing good impression techniques as well as understanding how to take a good impression are indications of a confident hearing aid dispenser. It is very important to understand the proper techniques in taking an impression of the ear.

How It's Done

Impression Procedure

The ear impression must precisely reproduce the entire ear canal, the concha, as well as create sufficient adaptation to the skin of the ear canal. The earmold has to fit extremely well, and also be comfortable to wear.

The very first step in taking an ear impression is an examination of the external ear and its canal. To ensure a thorough examination use an otoscope or video otoscope. With either instrument, the hand should be braced in such a way that the dispenser has absolute control over the instrument. In adults, the canal and drum can best be observed by pulling the pinna up to straighten the canal for viewing. With pediatric patients, pull down on the lobe or pinna to open the canal for the otoscopic exam.

The proper examination of the ear should reveal…

  • The contours and shape of the canal and external ear
  • The diameter of the ear canal as well as the length and direction
  • The size of the impression that will need to be taken
  • The presence of any problems within the ear drum such as trauma, absence, wax etc.
If there are questionable features after an impression has been taken, we urge you to take another impression, and if possible send duplicate impressions with your earmold order. This procedure will save you and your customer time and inconvenience which will occur with a questionable impression and/or an earmold remake.
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Years of Experience

What You Should and Shouldn't See in an Impression

Be sure that your impression has these features:
  • Is smooth and complete
  • The canal long enough to show the beginning of the second bend
  • The helix clearly defined
  • The concha is complete
  • The tragus clearly defined
The Impression should not have these features:
  • Short canal due to incorrect size of Oto block used. (This will result in an impression with an incomplete canal length)
  • Creases or voids on impression
  • Incomplete Helix and concha bowl