An improvement in audibility should always be the main goal of a hearing aid fitting, so why do such a large number of hearing aids end up being left unused in a box or drawer? Unfortunately, a total lack of real ear measurements during the initial fitting stage is the most common reason that a hearing aid might not be worn, as this can cause a variety of different issues which will in turn affect your experience quite dramatically.

So, why are real ear measurements so important in a hearing aid fitting? Thankfully, this guide aims to explain everything that you need to know about real ear measurements and why they are so essential, so read on to find out more! 

What Are Real Ear Measurements (REM)? 

When you visit your audiologist for real ear measurements, a thin probe microphone will be carefully inserted inside your ear canal with a hearing aid. This will allow the audiologist to obtain specific readings of the sound levels that you are actually receiving from the hearing aid, which provides them with the opportunity to adjust and fine-tune the amplification levels based on each individual patient’s hearing loss experiences.

When you attend a top-quality hearing aid fitting from a trusted audiologist, the specific size, shape and length of your ear canal is taken into consideration through this method, so you can always put your trust in real ear measurements to ascertain that your hearing aid is performing to its full potential. 

What Are the Benefits of Real Ear Measurements? 

Real ear measurements are essential when attempting to determine the most suitable option to achieve the best possible hearing, as each individual person will need an exact level of amplification in order to achieve the most noticeable results. This is something that cannot be decided on without the use of real ear measurements, so an improvement in hearing might not be possible if your audiologist does not take the time to ascertain your unique real ear measurements.

It’s important to recognize that everyone’s ear canals are totally different – some will be narrower whereas others may be shallower, and some might be wider or deeper than average, making it near impossible for a one size fits all hearing aid. Some patient’s ear canals can have a sharp bend which can create a larger surface area of reflection for incoming sound that needs to be taken into consideration, and it’s even common for both ears to be completely different in the same individual.

Each of these important variations will encourage your ears to be acoustically unique when compared to others. The unique acoustics of your ears will cause the sound produced by hearing aids to be different from that which has been predicted using average ears as a reference point. 

Why Are Real Ear Measurements So Important? 

Here are a few key details as to why real ear measurements are important when having a hearing aid fitting:

  • Provides key data on inner ear sound level: If audiologists didn’t have access to REM data, it would be nothing more than an educated guess as to whether the hearing aid will actually be amplifying sound successfully. With REM data, you can have faith that you’ll be matched up with the perfect hearing aid based on your unique situation and requirements. 
  • Helps to limit the amplification of louder sounds: During a hearing aid fitting, your audiologist will want to protect your remaining hearing by programming the device correctly. Amplifiers can harm your hearing when set incorrectly but using REM data helps to avoid this situation by encouraging you to only hear the sounds you need to hear.
  • Allows for a more comfortable hearing aid experience: It’s important that you can select a hearing aid device that provides you a comfortable fit while still meeting your hearing needs, and REM can help to make this possible.

As you can now understand, real ear measurements are essential for good hearing aid fittings. Any trusted audiologist will be insistent upon taking real ear measurements when they fit your hearing, so you can rely on our team at Ascent Audiology & Hearing to do just that.

If you or someone that you love wants to know more about how to have the most productive experience with their hearing aid fitting or is experiencing hearing loss and would like to find out about the best course of action, then reach out to a member of our friendly and experienced audiologist team today. Call Ascent Audiology & Hearing today at (360) 515-9948 to get in touch now! 

Tags: hearing aid fitting, hearing aid programming, real ear measurement