Helping You Hear With Real Ear Probe Microphone Measurement Fitting
What Is Real-Ear Measurement?
The real-ear measurement system is one tool used to gauge the output response of a hearing device when it’s positioned in your ear canal. The testing can be completed using a variety of sounds and, more importantly, speech signals to validate the most comfortable and appropriate fitting and programming settings for each of your ears.
How Does It Work?
Real-ear measuring assesses the hearing-aid output with a probe microphone while the device is in your ear. We insert a flexible tube alongside your hearing aid and run tests using the microphone and real-ear measurement software. The results show what the desired output should be according to your hearing evaluation and other factors as well as how the device is actually performing while in your ear. These measurements can add more information to assist in your fitting, because output can be impacted by the shape and configuration of your ear canal. This can be helpful in making small adjustments that can profoundly affect your hearing experience.
Why Real Ear Verification is so Important
Our providers utilize probe microphone real ear verification measurements when programming your hearing aids – this is the Gold Standard for hearing aid fittings. This process measures the amplification of the hearing aid in real time during programming to ensure that the settings for speech are correct. This process eliminates the common complaint that “my hearing aids don’t work”.
When it comes to helping you hear your best, it’s important to achieve accurate settings within hearing devices. That’s why we incorporate the Real Ear Probe Microphone Fitting System (REM) into our hearing aid programming.
Why Does It Matter?
It’s all about ensuring the best possible listening outcomes. Not only does the REM system “represent the only objective measure of sound between the medial end of the hearing aid and the [eardrum],”* according to an American Academy of Audiology news report on the relevant research, but studies appear to indicate that hearing aid users gain more benefit from the measurement-based fittings.
The Academy reported that in one of the studies, for example, a majority of the participants — all well-versed in wearing hearing devices — “preferred the sounds of their hearing aids programmed to the verified prescription”* rather than fittings based on predictive models or guidelines. In short, fittings based on actual measurements can make a difference in your better-hearing experience!
Although hearing aid technology is constantly improving, it’s critical that hearing-care professionals have a multitude of tools to verify the settings and ensure the devices are working properly. Every ear canal is shaped differently, every patient’s sound processing is unique, and every patient’s lifestyle is individual, making it crucial to offer real-ear verification measurements for patient-specific adjustments to the hearing aids.
*American Academy of Audiology. Comparing First Fit and Verified Hearing Aid Prescriptions. https://www.audiology.org/news/comparing-first-fit-and-verified-hearing-aid-prescriptions. Accessed Sept. 18, 2019.