IIC impressions gave me heart burn.
When I was working in clinical practice, my first choice was always to get the patient a hearing aid they were willing to wear. I used to say, «If I can’t get you to put in on the morning, I won’t be able to help you». Now I know that 62% of first time users come in asking for a custom hearing aids1, but I’ve felt this for years. My philosophy to help people hear by getting my patients the products they asked for means I took a lot of impressions. And IIC impressions gave me major heart burn.
I hate hurting people. I’m a softy. I cry in movies and nothing makes me happier than holding a puppy. Taking an ear impression is probably one of the most invasive procedures an audiologist can perform. The fear of having the impression material push past the otoblock was substantial enough that I have the tendency to be a bit conservative in my impression taking. As soon as the patient started giving me that non-verbal feedback that they were getting uncomfortable (cue eye squint and reflexive shoulder blocking), I stopped. While I avoided hurting my patients, often the resulting hearing aid outcome suffered because I was a chicken.Since my time at Phonak, the EasyView Otoblock (EVOB) has revolutionized impression taking and has simultaneously cured my heart burn. The transparent lens at the end allows for full visualization during the placement and now I can see the tympanic membrane and canal walls throughout the entire process. Looking back, poking at a piece of foam in the ear with a light stick feels a tad…archaic. Ear impressions are the critical foundation for many hearing aid features and components including Biometric Calibration, 3D printed custom titanium or acrylic shells, and much more. Now, when I need an IIC impression I know right where I am in the ear canal and I can confidently get the otoblock beyond the second bend and into IIC territory, heart burn free.
Learn more about EVOB in a previous blog post by our Custom Products Audiological Engineer, Jana Schwarzlos-Sooprayen.
1 Sonova B2C consumer segmentation (Jan 2016) #668 N1229 and N1277, GER, USA, CHN, FRA