Are you satisfied with the performance of your hearing aid? Do you feel the quality meets your expectations? Unless your audiologist relied on real-ear measurement during the fitting process, your hearing device may not be living up to its full potential.
Hearing Aid Fitting
When fitting patients for hearing aids, real-ear measurements provide a level of accuracy unavailable with software programs. The gold standard of hearing aid fitting takes into account an individual’s unique anatomy, such as ear canal volume, providing a true measurement of a hearing aid’s effectiveness for that patient’s specific hearing loss. Without an accurate assessment of a hearing aid’s amplification levels, a patient can walk away with a hearing aid that delivers substandard performance.
Yet, studies show that only approximately 40 percent of audiologists use real-ear measurement technology. Why the reluctance to embrace a system that has been proven to provide the most accurate measurements available? For many audiologists, the answer amounts to time and money. The process can be time-consuming, especially for audiologists unfamiliar with the equipment, which can be expensive. Some audiologists believe the fitting algorithms included with the programming software are accurate enough, but these do not allow for real-ear target matching to measure the correct amount of hearing aid gain and output required, based on the patient’s level of hearing loss as well as their natural ear anatomy.
The process is actually fairly straightforward and, once mastered, should take fewer than five minutes per ear. A probe microphone is inserted into the ear, and hearing aid output is measured on a chart, where different test results (directional, noise reduction, feedback suppression and frequency lowering) can be compared. This objective process utilizes scientific data rather than guesswork to provide true data.
The Doctors’ Hearing Center at Hunterdon Otolaryngology & Allergy Associates treats patients on an individual basis with their unique ear acoustics in mind, which is why we offer real-ear measurement (Flemington location only). We are committed to our patient-first philosophy, and we always go the extra mile to verify that your hearing aids are performing to the highest standard possible.