What is the occlusion effect?

If you just started noticing changes in your hearing, Amplifon is here for you.

Why do my hearing aids echo?

Hearing aids can have an echo due to the very nature of the sound inside them: the sound is amplified inside the aid hence the echo phenomenon. This phenomenon manifests itself more easily in environments with reflective acoustics, such as closed rooms, where sounds are easily reflected from the walls and ceiling. Also, the size and shape of hearing aid chambers can affect how sound is amplified and resonated, increasing the likelihood of an echo.

What does occlusion effect mean?

The occlusion effect in acoustics refers to the phenomenon whereby hearing is affected by the partial or complete coverage of the external auditory canal due to an object, such as a finger or an ear plug. This effect is called occlusion, from the latin word "occludere" which means "to close" or "to cover". The acoustic occlusion effect may lead to various symptoms such as hearing voices with a hollow or booming echo-like sound, decreased total sound volume, and in some instances, distorted sound perception.

How does the occlusion effect sensation arise?

The acoustic occlusion effect is caused by the partial or complete coverage of the external auditory canal due to an object. This causes a change in sound pressure and acoustic resonance within the ear canal, affecting the perception of sounds. The main causes of the acoustic occlusion effect are partial or full blockage of the external ear canal by objects or ear health issues, such as inflammation.

Really good Low-Frequency Hearing thresholds

The sound occlusion effect is most commong among individuals who have excellent low-frequency hearing thresholds. These individuals can perceive this type of sound better and can experience a distorted perception of sound when the ear canal is covered. Essentially, when the ear canal is covered, there is a change in sound pressure and acoustic resonance within the ear canal. This can cause high-frequency sounds to fade and low-frequency sounds to increase, due to the change in acoustic resonance. For this type of patient, this means that the perception of low-frequency sounds is heightened compared to that of high-frequency sounds. This can result in a distorted sound perception, which may seem darker or more internal.
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How to get rid of echo in a hearing aid

The echo occlusion effect in a hearing aid is normal. However, there are some solutions to avoid these problems: reprogramming the devices found, changing the style of the dome, modifying the earphones, shortening the ventilation duct.

Reprogramming the hearing aids

Reprogramming the examined devices is one solution to the occlusion effect. Regular check-ups and relying on Amplifon, a leader sales and after-sales services for hearing aids, are also crucial.

Switching dome styles

Regularly replacing the domes can help prevent occlusions, or the feeling of "stuffy" or "muffled" sounds. Changing the dome style of your hearing aid can mean replacing the old dome with a new one of a different shape or size. This can affect comfort and perceived sound quality, as each shape or size of dome can affect the amount of sound entering the ear canal and the perception of sound itself.

For example, using a larger dome may increase the amount of sound entering the ear canal, while a smaller dome may reduce the risk of occlusion ("stuffy" or "muffled" sounds). Choosing the correct dome style depends on the individual's needs and can be determined based on advice from your doctor or audiologist.

Modifying the earmold(s)

Modifying your hearing aid ear tips can help reduce echo and occlusion.

The echo effect is caused by sound reflection within the ear canal, which can be reduced by choosing the right earphones or by changing the shape of the earphones themselves.

Occlusion can be caused by a mismatch between the shape of the ear canal and the shape of the earphones. By choosing ear tips of the right shape and size, or by modifying existing ear tips, occlusion can be reduced and the quality of perceived sound improved. In both cases, it is important to consult a doctor or audiologist to evaluate individual needs and choose the most suitable earphones.

Shortening the vent

Shortening the vent of the hearing aid can alleviate occlusions and echoes by impacting the amount of sound that enters the ear canal.

The vent is a channel that connects the earpiece of the hearing aid to the outside environment, allowing air and sound to circulate within the ear canal. When the ventilation duct is too long, it can produce an echo effect inside the ear canal.

On the other hand, occlusion can result from a mismatch between the shape of the ear canal and that of the earphones. When the vent is too long, it can create a "vacuum" inside the ear canal, which can amplify the feeling of being blocked.

By shortening the vent, you can reduce the amount of sound entering the ear canal, reducing echo and occlusions. However, it is important to note that shortening the vent may affect the quality of sound perceived and the function of the hearing aid, therefore it is important to consult a doctor or audiologist before making this modification.

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Common problems for new hearing aids

Regarding of the hearing aid solution, it is crucial to remember that adjusting to hearing aids takes time. Echoes, occlusion effects, volume, and reverberating voices are common occurrences when first using a new hearing aid. By taking various precautions and seeking assistance from Amplifon centers, it is possible to significantly reduce or eliminate any issues.

Why choose Amplifon?

By choosing Amplifon as your hearing care provider, you’re choosing to be cared and looked after by qualified and experienced Audiologists who can help change the way you listen to the world around you.

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