Are skeleton earmolds ok for kids?
I feel very passionate that young children and babies should not be fit with open fit/receiver in the ear/receiver in the canal hearing aids without any kind of custom earmold.
Are skeleton style earmolds ok for kids? Yes! The most common style of earmolds kids are fit with are full shell earmolds. With kids the most important part of a hearing aid is clear and consistent sound quality.
Earmold tubing takes the sound from the hearing aid through earmold and into the ear canal. Custom ear molds can help with placement of the tubing in the ear canal to keep the sound consistent. With receiver in the ear (RITE) hearing aids that are open fit with domes, the placement of the part where the sound comes out is not as consistent which is why I don’t like them for young kids.
Skeleton Earmolds With No Vent
A non-occluding skeleton earmold can be used for a personal DM/FM system for kids with typical hearing. Because it is non-occluding, the sounds that are happening around the child still come into the ear naturally and the sound from the teacher or parent’s remote microphone can come in clearly and consistently too.
Non-Occluding Skeleton Earmolds
It’s a similar situation for a CROS-BiCROS hearing aid where it’s not necessary to block the whole ear canal. This style may also work with mild hearing losses in ears that are draining to help them dry out. The hearing loss must be mild though, otherwise the sound will leak out and feedback/whistle.
Open Fit/Non-Occluding Skeleton Earmolds
There’s many more options of earmold styles and variations on what I’m talking about. I do like RITEs for kids with custom earmolds (skeleton or full shell), too!
You should always talk with your audiologist to find out what earmold style is best for you or your child. Sometimes it takes a bit of trial and error. Everyones ears are different!
Thank you @westonelabs for the photos!! 🤗🤗