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Earmold Retention for a Shallow Concha

Robin Hudson, MS, CCC-A, Lauren Storr, MS, CCC-A

December 11, 2006

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Question

I am fitting a multihandicapped child (2 y/o) with a body aid. She is profoundly deaf, bilaterally, and has multiple developmental delays including not sitting, crawling, etc. Her conchas are extremely shallow, making it difficult for her earmolds to stay in. We have put a retention hook to go behind her ear as well as having tubing coming from the mold to connect to the receivers because her molds are too small to connect the receivers normally. Any ideas on helping to keep the molds in?

Answer

For retention of body aid button receivers, a headband of some sort may prove helpful. The use of a purchased or hand-crafted headband could help to hold the receivers in the ear when the earmold alone is not sufficient. The commercially available "Earbandit" could be used in this way, and we have seen parents use children's headbands in this capacity as well. Beyond that, I would recommend contacting the earmold company to discuss retention with their staff audiologists. Some earmold laboratories have been know to "build" a custom mold for very difficult fittings. Westone has helped some of our patients with craniofacial anomalies in this way. Good luck with the fitting!

Robin E. Hudson, M.S., CCC-A, is a graduate of Central Institute for the Deaf at Washington University in St. Louis, and has worked at St. Louis Children's Hospital for 10 years. Her clinical areas of interest include pediatric amplification and behavioral testing of difficult-to-test children.

Lauren M. Storr, M.S., CCC-A is a graduate of Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg, Missouri and has worked in pediatrics for 23 years. She has been employed by St. Louis Children's Hospital for the past 5 years and her clinical areas of interest include pediatric amplification and early identification through auditory brainstem response evaluation.


Robin Hudson, MS, CCC-A


Lauren Storr, MS, CCC-A


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