Are Real Ear Measurements Necessary to Get on With Hearing Aids?
Asked by Paul O'Neill on 30 May 2019
I have heard a little about Real Ear Measurements recently from a friend who has bought hearing aids, are they really necessary with modern digital hearing aids?
Answered by Geoffrey Cooling
Hi Paul, good question, to give you the short version, yes, I believe they are necessary for you to get the best from your hearing aids. Let, me briefly explain why.
The image above, much thanks to Auditdata (a manufacturer of real-ear measurement equipment and audiometers) for the use of it, shows a lady sitting with a Probe Tube measurement system on her ears. You can just make out the white tube inserted into her ear canal which is used to measure the sound close to the eardrum. We need to understand clearly what the sound level is at your eardrum to know for certain that the hearing aids are delivering the sound levels you need to help correct your hearing loss.
Knowing the sound level delivered is still as important as ever, even with the technological advancement of modern digital hearing aids. While hearing aids have improved dramatically, ear canals are still as different as ever. Most of the time, it is the difference in ear canals and hearing aid fit that causes the issues. For instance, my left ear canal throws up a peak at a particular frequency which means that the prescribed amplification delivers too much sound at that frequency.
I would never know that if I didn't measure it, therefore I couldn't change it and I would probably be unhappy with the hearing aids I wear. Real Ear Measurements are Objective tests of hearing aid function, they allow us to make evidence based decisions on how we programme the hearing aids. So for me, as both a professional and a consumer, I think they are a must.
I wrote a full article on REMs a while ago which you can see at "The Gold Standard in Hearing Aid Fittings"
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