Leaving a Lasting Impression: Ear Mold Impressions as Middle Ear Foreign Bodies

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We describe a series of otologic complications from impression material used to make hearing aid molds.


We examined a retrospective case series of patients presenting to a tertiary care academic medical center.


The presentation, clinical course, and treatment outcomes of 6 patients with complications related to ear molds are discussed. These patients had preexisting abnormalities in their aural anatomy, including tympanic membrane perforations, retraction pockets, and mastoidectomy cavities.


Although the majority of patients who have ear canal impressions taken experience no adverse outcomes, hearing aid dispensers should perform a thorough history-taking and physical examination to discern those with abnormal anatomy at risk for complications. These patients may benefit from evaluation in conjunction with an otolaryngologist.

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