Swimming molds are small devices designed to be placed in the outer ear canal.
Swimming molds can serve several important functions in protecting people’s ears from various complications that can result from water exposure.
Swimming molds vary in how they are made, but are most often made of silicone.
Types of Swim Molds
The first type of swim mold is a standard plug. These come in a few different sizes and shapes, and the main advantage is that they are available at many retail stores. The disadvantage of these plugs is that they are not customized and are therefore not typically as effective at creating a water tight seal.
The other type of swim molds are those that are custom made. If you are utilizing molds for medical reasons, you will likely require this type of swim mold. They are significantly better at creating a water tight seal. It is important to note that both types of swim molds will have a specific noise reduction rating.
Who Needs Swim Molds?
There are many patients who may benefit from wearing swim molds. Some patients assume that swim molds are only for children. While children do often need swim molds more frequently than adults, many adults also use the molds.
Generally, ear plugs have a number of purposes, including noise reduction and exposure protection. However, swim molds are designed with the specific intention of preventing water from entering the ear canal. Many people frequently swim and bathe without any second thought because they have never had ear trouble. Yet, there are many people for whom water is a great source of ear pain. This is due to a number of circumstances.
For example, children often experience recurring ear infections. When these become too frequent or if patients experience excessive fluid build up, their physician may recommend pressure equalization tubes be placed into the ear canals. Other patients may need molds if they have an ear drum perforation or have had various types of ear surgery. The most important thing in each of these cases is to keep the ear canal dry, which usually means customized swim molds for water activities.
How Are Custom Molds Created?
Before the appointment, the audiologist will ask that the patient remove all potential wax from the ear canals. Then, at the appointment, the staff will use putty to make an impression of the ear. Once the mold is hardened, it will be sent off so that silicone molds can be made based on the patient’s ear shape. The customized design will ensure a better seal and minimize complications.