Like any medical question, people can be nervous about the results of tests and the use of new medical equipment. When it comes to hearing, the first question most people ask is, “Do I need hearing aids?” The answer to that could be a little frightening, but the result will be a new world of excellent hearing ability again.
Choosing the right hearing aid is a process. The style, size and power choice is the first step. However, fitting the hearing aid to your ear is followed by testing and adjustments, and testing again. We test your hearing aid in several environments. You want to hear certain sounds, particularly speech, in crowded, loud areas. The trial and error process allows audiologists to tune your hearing aids to the optimum sound quality you want.
Hearing aid programming
Today’s hearing devices are powerful miniature computers. They connect wirelessly to many devices and “learn” how to best amplify sound in a variety of environments. One of the most important part of fitting hearing aids to the individual ear is programming the devices properly.
Programs inside the hearing device change the volume of specific frequencies or focus of sound. Some are designed to enhance speech, which is the most requested feature from those with hearing loss. We all want to understand and respond to normal speech. To do this, audiologists may use techniques like Real-Ear measurements, live speech mapping, and aided sound field testing.
Real-Ear measurements ensure that hearing aids are programmed correctly. This verification is important regardless of the hearing aid manufacturer or type. Without the proper programming and prescription, even the most expensive hearing aid in the world can underperform. Every individual has different needs with programming, and that is where real ear measurements provide important information to your audiologist. They are an improvement in accuracy over older methods that relied on tweaking and further tests.
During the hearing aid fitting and follow-up, real ear measurements ensure best practices for optimization of patient hearing aid satisfaction. A small microphone is inserted in the ear canal so that the equipment can see sound in real time. With the patient’s current prescription being shown visually, audiologists can fine-tune the device as necessary.
Real-Ear measurements is one of the high-tech tools that the professionals at Audiology & Hearing Center of Tampa use to make sure your hearing is the best possible level in all situations.