For those experiencing hearing loss, a hearing aid can provide a major improvement on quality of life. Unfortunately, for many, hearing aids are uncomfortable and they aren't utilized. Often, the problems begin because proper measurements and fittings didn't occur. A real ear measurement can help you avoid some of the most common issues with a hearing aid so you can comfortably enjoy hearing the sounds of your friends and family again.
What is a real ear measurement?
A real ear measurement is a multi-frequency test that can ensure that the assisted hearing from a device is providing the most natural listening experience possible. During the measurement, a skinny microphone probe is inserted into the ear behind the hearing aid. Different tones, including voices and pitches, are then played while the audiologist uses the probe to detect the frequency the user actually hears with the hearing aid. This then allows the audiologist to make adjustments to the hearing aid until the device is perfectly matched to the needs of the user.
What are the benefits of measuring?
Every patient that suffers from partial hearing loss has different needs. The frequencies you have trouble with can differ greatly from someone else, even if they have the same type of hearing loss. This means there is no one size fits all hearing aid solution. By taking a real measurement of how you hear, the audiologist can "tune in" the hearing aid so you get a more accurate listening experience. Further, this can help eliminate some other common issues with hearing aids, such as feedback and hissing or static. Not only does this mean you hear better, it also means you suffer less discomfort.
Are real ear measurements standard?
Unfortunately, not every fitting includes a real ear measurement. Many audiologists have not yet adopted the procedure into their practice, which means they may be depending on less accurate techniques for fitting and adjusting your hearing aid. When scheduling your fitting appointment, make sure to request a real ear measurement. If your audiologist does not yet offer the service, you can contact a real ear measurement service to perform the fitting. You may also want to schedule a real ear fitting if you are not happy with the current performance of your hearing aid. Sometimes, having this measurement performed and having your old hearing aid adjusted can save you the time and expense of replacing a hearing aid.