Real Ear Measurement Explained
The ability to hear speech and sounds more clearly, known as audibility improvement, is the goal of hearing aid devices. For many with a hearing loss, hearing aids are the treatment of choice. If you’ve been diagnosed with a hearing loss, your hearing healthcare professional may have discussed the use of a hearing aid device with you.
Despite the life-changing impact that improved hearing can have, up to 24% of adults who have been prescribed hearing aids do not use them. Common reasons for not wearing the devices included: difficulty handling the device, trouble inserting the ear mold, and “less than ideal matching of the aid to the loss.”
Today, we’re taking a closer look at how a user may feel that their hearing aid isn’t matched to their hearing loss.
What is Real Ear Measurement?
Real ear measurement is the “measurement of sound pressure level in a patient’s ear canal developed when a hearing aid is worn” (source). Real ear measurements are sometimes referred to as probe microphone measurements. They are the standard used to establish if a hearing aid wearer is getting the correct levels of amplification required at every frequency to maximize hearing improvements.
How can Real Ear Measurement Affect You?
Hearing aids aim to restore as much of your hearing as possible, but they are unlikely to ever provide 100% hearing restoration. During the process of fitting your hearing aid, your hearing healthcare professional will have made various adjustments to the device.
During a real ear measurement, your audiologist will insert the thin probe microphone into your ear canal. This microphone is inserted alongside your hearing aid.
The microphone then provides readings on the exact levels of sound that the patient is receiving while wearing their hearing aids. Results are facilitated by playing a variety of different speech recordings to stimulate different hearing environments. This process is known as speech-mapping, and ensures you’re getting the most out of your devices.
Why is Real Ear Measurement Important?
Speech patterns fall within a range of frequencies. Higher frequency speech can include a woman’s voice, or children speaking. Birds singing also fall into a higher frequency range. Low frequency sounds can include thunder rumbling or a male’s deep voice.
You may not realize it, but your hearing loss may actually vary across different frequencies. By performing real ear measurements, your hearing specialists can ensure that your hearing aid devices are adjusted to the amplification levels you require.
PLEASE NOTE: This service may not be available at all locations; contact us today to find out more information.
Consult the Hearing Specialists at Anderson Audiology!
At Anderson Audiology, we are here to help you with your hearing needs. Schedule an appointment today with one of our hearing professionals at one of our five convenient audiology clinic locations in southern Nevada.