(EUHA/Mainz, 4 December 2017) To coincide with the 62nd International Congress of Hearing Aid Acousticians, the European Union of Hearing Aid Acousticians (EUHA) has published a new guideline entitled "Custom-made earmoulds for fitting hearing systems". It offers a structured and condensed survey of all aspects relevant for custom-made earmoulds, and can serve acousticians who wish to check and refresh their knowledge. Providing directions on the procedure as part of quality management, it is also suitable as a guide in training and advanced education.
The guideline basically refers to the hearing aid acoustician's routine. Every aspect of earmould manufacturing for fitting hearing systems is being dealt with, ranging from the assessment of requirements and customer consultation, to casting and finishing, to the measurement of acoustic transmission, testing, and quality assurance.
Wolfgang Luber, a member of the EUHA Executive Committee, headed the expert group in charge of drawing up the guideline. Wolfgang Luber emphasises the relevance of custom-made earmoulds: "Custom-made earmoulds are indispensable requirements for professional hearing aid fitting. The benefit provided by innovative hearing systems is largely determined by an individually manufactured otoplastic. A professional approach to using earmoulds and the different options associated with them is part of the hearing aid acoustician's core competence." Otoplastics influence acoustic and auditory efficiency and are subject to medical considerations and the anatomy of the customer's ears, while their choice also depends on handling options and aesthetics. Successful hearing aid fitting and satisfied patients essentially hinge on the earmoulds.
The guideline "Custom-made earmoulds for fitting hearing systems" aims at establishing a consistent high quality standard for sound delivery devices in hearing systems. It focuses on custom-made earmoulds for air-conduction hearing systems and cochlear implants (BTE, bimodal and EAS devices).
Several guidelines have been developed on the initiative of the European Union of Hearing Aid Acousticians (EUHA). Issues such as wireless remote microphone systems, hearing protection, audio therapy in hearing aid acoustics, and percentile analysis have been tackled in the respective guidelines. Any of these guidelines is available for download free of charge from: http://www.euha.org/guidelines/
Earmoulds expert group
Erich Bayer, master craftsman of hearing aid acoustics, Munich
Dipl.-Kfm. Dirk Köttgen, master craftsman of hearing aid acoustics, Member of the EUHA Executive Committee, Cologne
Wolfgang Luber, master craftsman of hearing aid acoustics, Member of the EUHA Executive Committee, Munich
Malte Roberz, master craftsman of hearing aid acoustics, Academy of Hearing Aid Acoustics, Lübeck
Ass. jur. Matthias Schober, biha, Mainz
Andreas Schwer, master craftsman of hearing aid acoustics, Kempten
Coordination and contact: Wolfgang Luber