The rise of earpieces for cellphone-loving drivers Special

Legal or not, it's dangerous to talk or text while driving. If you must drive while using a cell phone, consider a Bluetooth-compatible system, experts say.

London - Last fall the law in Ontario was changed, making it illegal to drive on Ontario roads while using a hand-held cellphone, BlackBerry or other electronic device. Thanks to this change, the sales of hands-free cellphone systems have increased exponentially.
Many thought the new law was a pain, now they know that was just figuratively speaking. The real pain comes from constantly wearing Bluetooth headphones with ill-fitting earbuds. Depending upon the exact fit problem, the pain can be either in or behind the ear.
Tuesday evening the National Centre for Audiology at The University of Western Ontario (UWO) offered drivers a comfortable solution to the painful problem while raising money for scholarships at the London, Ontario, university. Audiology students under the direct supervision of a college registered audiologist made accurate impressions of clients' ear canals in order to have custom fitted ear pieces made.
The Starkey SoundPort Flex Bluetooth Custom EarSet is light and comfortable thanks to the custom fit...
The Starkey SoundPort Flex Bluetooth Custom EarSet is light and comfortable thanks to the custom fitted earmold.
First, a cotton block with a string attached was inserted carefully but firmly to the correct depth in the client's ear canal. This is very important. The tight-fitting cotton plug protects the ear drum from the mold-making material while taking the ear canal impression.
Assistant professor Susan Scollie, school of communication sciences and disorders, faculty of health at the UWO, says, "This is not something you should have just anyone do . . . An eardrum is incredibly thin and delicate. We don't go anywhere near it."
The clinic supplied Starkey Bluetooth units to be delivered with a custom fitted earset. Starkey, a respected hearing aid manufacturer, has successfully adapted their earmold technology to this new application. The UWO clinic had 150 units available.
Although many places are now offering custom fitted headsets, Scollie warns the impression-making procedure is potentially dangerous if done improperly. "We encourage people to seek out a registered audiologist."