In the past, the appropriateness of hearing aid fittings was based on measurement of tones in the sound–treated booth while the patient was wearing the hearing aids, or by the patient‘s response to the question, “How does that sound?” Neither approach was objective or effective. Today, audiologists are equipped with new technologies and methods to make the hearing aid programming process more scientific, objective, and successful.
One of the more advanced technologies available is Real Ear Measurement, also known as Probe Microphone Measurement. This method of fitting hearing aids involves the measurement of sound at the individual‘s eardrum, to ensure that the patient receives optimal benefit for soft, medium and loud sounds. We use this technique with 100% of our hearing aid fittings and when reprogramming of hearing aids is needed due to a change in a person‘s hearing.
What is Real Ear Measurement?
Real ear measurement is a hearing aid verification method that is used to confirm that your hearing aids are programmed exactly for your individual needs. With this method, tiny microphones placed in the ear canals are used to measure the response of the hearing aids in your ears, taking into account the natural and individual characteristics of both your ears and your hearing loss. Your audiologist has high–tech equipment that will allow her to “see” what you are hearing through your hearing aids on a computer screen in real–time.
Benefits of real ear measurement
Real ear measurement is known for its accuracy. Without probe microphone verification, other methods to program your hearing aids may require multiple additional adjustments, sometimes with no success. Real ear measurement increases the chances that your hearing aid programming will be done correctly on the first try, providing the best sound quality and comfort. Fine tuning adjustments may be made at future visits, but with these measurements, you and the audiologist will know that settings are “in the ballpark” or “on target” when you take the hearing aids home.