Lol, good one! Here is my impression info from the 2nd post in this thread:
Notes from my experience: Impressions are critical to avoiding refits. It is important that the audiologist follows the manufacturers directions and the impressions are deep. If you are sending impressions overseas, it may be worth it to you to get 2 sets of impressions done either by different audiologist or by the same audiologist (if they will give you a discount). This will allow you to pick the best and see if there are differences between the two. Typically, acrylic shelled custom IEMs require an open mouth impression while silicone requires a closed mouth, but double check with the company that is making your custom IEMs.
The audiologist you choose should be familiar with taking impressions for customs, not just hearing aids. Many companies recommend opened mouth with a bite block, but regardless, you should be relaxed and not talk when your mold is being made. However, it seems that some audiologists have recommended people open and close their mouth during the impression process. It appears there is no right or wrong way to do it, but I would get an impression the way the custom manufacturer recommends. Detailed info on ear impressions: Earmolds and Hearing Aid Shells: A Tutorial Part 2: Impression-Taking Techniques that Result in Fewer Remakes Things to consider before getting your custom IEM impressions done. The perfect fit.
Quote from JackKontney:
"The problem is that the ear canal changes shape as you move your jaw, so the impression is something of a compromise. That's not as big an issue with pliable earpieces like Sensaphonics soft-gel silicone, which flexes along with the canal to maintain its seal. With a hard material like acrylic, there's a greater chance of losing the seal.
Compounding the problem is the fact that everyone's ear canals are not only shaped differently, but can also behave differently during jaw movement. Some get a little wider, but some get narrower. In fact, it can go both ways for one person left vs right.
This is why you'll find different methodologies among various audiologists and manufacturers."
I will be updating this when I can find the time.
Average_Joe and Project 86 - thanks for the advice re: new impressions. Had them done today.
It was noticeably more painful than last time... I even had a little bleeding from one ear. My ears are also still hurting 10 hours after (?).
Anyhow, the moulds looked good - plenty past the second bend - so it should be worth it.
Ouch! I have had discomfort when I have taken extremely deep self impressions, but never any blood. I hope the CIEMs fit like a glove!
I have had my fair share of refits even though I follow the manufacturer instructions and use the exact same method every time. While i can't generalize at the moment, it seems like larger companies such as UE, JHA, and UM round the shells a bit more for less issues with a shell being too large.