While many people dread visiting their doctor, your local audiologist also
Why Real Ear Measurement Is Important in Hearing Aid Fittings
When you experience hearing loss, it’s good to know that a great deal of this loss can be substituted by the worthwhile fitting and use of a sophisticated hearing aid. These devices can bring you back to a new normal, and serve millions around the world as a result.
Yet like with any medical device, proper installation and use are important. This can not only ensure you get the most out of such a device but will extend its lifespan and lower the costs passed on to you.
When you’re fitted for a hearing aid, real ear measurements matter. This is because depending on your individual anatomy, the design, style, shape and fitting of your hearing aid can differ. In this post, we’ll discuss why it’s important to undergo precise fittings before deciding on and wearing a hearing aid.
Styling and Security
Depending on the style of your hearing aid, it may need to be more precisely fitted and secured. For instance, behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids will require a custom mold fitted to your outer ear, allowing it to remain in place properly.
The same goes for in-the-canal (ITC) and in-the-ear (ITE) alternatives. Without a proper fit, you’ll find that you constantly have to adjust the hearing aid, that it fails to deliver the audio enhancement you need to hear properly, and of course, it will be at risk of falling out of your ear. While hearing aids are often robust, they are also sensitive pieces of equipment. Any falls, drops or exposure to harsh conditions may interrupt their competent functioning. Even if function is perfectly preserved, dropping a hearing aid and then trying to refit is rarely the most hygienic option to take.
Hearing aids work by providing sound quality, clarity and volume. For this reason, if your hearing aid fitting is insufficient, the purpose of wearing the device is entirely interrupted.
Real ear measurement (REM) is a process used to ensure the device you’re wearing is customized to your exact needs. During REM, a microphone will be inserted while you’re wearing the devices to measure what kind of sound is being delivered and how you hear in real-time. This enables your audiologist to give you a device personalized to your level of hearing loss.
In many cases, hearing aids use directional microphones to better translate sounds into your ear canal, allowing your brain to process the signals it receives into sound. A loose or improper fitting can, unfortunately, prevent this from working as intended and expected.
While a loose-fitting won’t prevent the device itself from functioning, it’s true that you may not be able to get the benefit from it, as hearing aids are designed to be placed intimately with your ear canal. To use a common image, it would be as if listening to a set of earbuds half-hanging out and placed slightly at an angle.
As hearing aids are worthwhile investments, it’s essential to make sure you have the right fitting to receive the value you’re paying for.
We must also remember that hearing aids are designed to be fitted for seamless use. They’re not great bulky earbuds or headphones we use when we want to listen to music, but devices designed to improve our standard of living.
Most people who use hearing aids for some time consider these devices to be second nature, sometimes an extension of themselves. After a little while, you’ll forget you’re even wearing one outside of the necessary maintenance you keep up with.
Without comfort, you’ll be less likely to want to wear your hearing aid or may encounter a sense of irritation. With proper fitting, this issue should be a non-starter and nothing to worry about.
The Sign of a Good Audiologist
More than anything, a worthwhile hearing aid fitting is a sign that your audiologist is taking care of you from the very first step. It’s a sign that the service is professional and committed to fitting you with the device you need, rather than one provided to them by a licensed partner. We’ll work hard to consider your specific needs, ensuring we find the best solution for your everyday life.
We will work with your needs to help provide a suitable solution to your hearing loss experience, ensuring you feel informed at every single step of the journey. If you want to learn more about our services, our technologies and our team at Sommerville Audiology & Hearing Aid Center, give us a call at 586-298-3788.