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Taking an Ear Impression

Taking an ear impression – or, more precisely, taking an impression of each of your ears – is the first stage in creating your custom made ear protection.

The purpose of taking an impression of each of your ears is to create moulds in which we can cast ear plugs that will fit your ears perfectly. We take an impression of both of your ears because, of course, the left and right ears are not identical.

The procedure does not hurt and takes just 10-15 minutes.

First we inspect the ear to make sure there are no obstructions, such as wax or hair.

Checking the ear for obstructions

Checking the ear for obstructions

Inspection also helps us determine the appropriate size of foam otoblock for your ear.

Inserting an otoblock

The ‘otoblock’ is a small, shaped piece of foam with string attached at one end. It is used to temporarily block the opening to the inner ear so that no impression material can enter the ear canal.

The otoblock is guided towards the inner ear, and positioned in each ear just beyond the second bend in the ear, with the string toward the bottom of the ear opening. We then carefully check that each otoblock is positioned correctly before proceeding further:

Checking position of the otoblock

Checking position of the otoblock

Inserting the impression material

Now we mix together the impression material ready for inserting in the ear using a plastic syringe (no needles involved!!)

Inserting the impression material

Inserting the impression material

We insert the syringe approx. 1/8th inch into the ear canal and gently push the compound into the ear, making sure the compound completely fills the helix and bowl area of the ear.

Impression material in the ear

Impression material in the ear

We lightly knead the material to make sure there are no lines or air pockets so that we take a complete and true impression of your ear.

The impression material takes about 7-8 minutes to cure. When it is firm to the touch, we gently remove the impression from your ear.

Gently removing the ear impression material

Gently removing the ear impression material

Generally the otoblock comes out attached to the impression. (If not, the string provides a back-up means of gently removing the otoblock from the ear)

The ear impression

At the end we have accurate impressions of each of your ears, ready for making your bespoke ear protection.

 

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