Five Things Patients Might Want To Know About Real Ear Measurements

Health & Medical Blog

Patients undergoing the real ear measurement process as part of an audiologist's treatments might be curious about what the process is and what it entails. 

The following are five things patients might want to know about real ear measurements before they undergo the process:

A real ear measurement is a measure of sound pressure levels.

Some patients make the mistake of assuming that real ear measurements involve the physical size of the ear itself. However, this is not the case.

In fact, real ear measurements take a measurement of how much sound pressure there is in the ear canal of the patient. Real ear measurements involve inserting a silicone tube into the ear canal that includes a microphone. 

The microphone will measure sound pressure and determine what amplification is best in a hearing aid device for a particular patient. 

Real ear measurements allow audiologists to more precisely gauge a patient's hearing ability and thereby provide more effective treatment through hearing aids.

All patients with hearing loss do not experience the same level of hearing loss. Some patients with hearing aids have better natural hearing than other patients with similar conditions.

Real ear measurements account for this fact by determining the level of hearing loss that's unique to individual patients. 

Real ear measurements are not used as much as they should be in devising hearing aid devices for patients.

Unfortunately, all patients who are having hearing aids made to help them with hearing loss do not yet necessarily undergo the real ear measurement procedure.

However, the real ear measurement process is the only way to really ensure that hearing aids produced for a patient are optimized to that patient's needs. It's a good sign for a patient if real ear measurement is recommended because this will ensure that hearing aid performance is as optimized as possible. 

The standard procedure for performing real ear measurements is known as "insertion gain".

The real ear measurement procedure starts when an otoscope is used to inspect the inside of a patient's ear. Then, a probe tube is put near the tympanic membrane before the hearing aid itself is positioned.

Once the hearing aid is in place, test stimuli will be produced and the ear canal output is measured. Sound pressure levels are then compared between the ear with the hearing aid in it and the other ear without the hearing aid in place. 

Speech mapping is another process used in fine-tuning hearing aid adjustments.

Another part of the procedure is known as "speech mapping". This part of the procedure involves testing the performance of the hearing aid when the patient hears speech-like sounds.

During speech mapping, the hearing aid is adjusted to various levels to find the middle range for the residual auditory level. This will ensure that volume is appropriately adjusted between the patient's hearing threshold on the lower volume side and the maximum limit of comfortable decibel levels on the upper volume side. 


29 May 2019

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