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

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Abstract

Objectives:

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

Methods:

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

Results:

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.

Conclusions:

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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