Accurately fitting hearing aids requires more than simply obtaining a prescription and setting the hearing aids accordingly. The “prescription” most hearing aid manufacturers use are based on an average size ear. However, most individuals to not have average size ears. Therefore, adjustments to the “prescribed settings” are often needed in order to provide a more customized and accurate hearing aid fitting.
Real ear measures allow an audiologist to determine how much sound is actually reaching the tympanic membrane based on measurements taken near the ear drum itself. During real ear measure testing, sounds are emitted through a speaker system into the ear. A probe microphone is placed in the ear canal near the tympanic membrane. Information regarding how much sound is reaching the ear drum at each frequency is sent back to the computer. The hearing aids are then adjusted to a target level for maximum audibility, which is based on years of research.
When patients are fit appropriately using real ear measures, they are more likely to be satisfied with the sound quality of the aids themselves, no matter which hearing aid manufacturer they select. Patients who are satisfied with the sound quality of hearing aids are more likely to wear the hearing aids consistently and continue to wear them for the long term. Consistent use of hearing aids over the long term has been shown to help stabilize word understanding even with continued progression of hearing loss.
At Hearing Partners we offer real ear measurements with all hearing aid fittings as part of Best Practices.
Contact Hearing Partners of South Florida for all you hearing health care needs.
Delray 561-638-6530 / Boynton 561-736-6002 / Jupiter 561-888-7260 / www.myhearingpartners.com