Why Real Ear Measurement Is Important in Hearing Aid Fittings

a hearing specialist performing a hearing aid fitting for his elderly patient

No two ears are the same. So, when it comes to hearing aid fittings, accurate measurements are vital for a comfortable hearing device and one that works well to suit your needs. An ear canal, also known as an auditory canal, runs from the outer ear to the eardrum and can vary in size. Some are deep and large, while others appear to be smaller and shallow.

You may even find that as one individual, you have two different ear canals. This results in everybody having different acoustics to one another, and may even experience different acoustics in different ears and why some individuals require the use of a hearing aid. 

When you get a hearing aid fitted, it is important that your unique measurements are taken, to ensure the sound produced by your hearing aids is accurate, as opposed to being based on the average ear. Your audiologist will be able to take the correct measurements for your ears when fitting a hearing aid. This will ensure it is comfortable and can meet your individual needs.

To learn more, here are some more reasons why real ear measurements are important when fitting a hearing aid. 

Helps to Identify the Right Hearing Aid Fit for You 

There are a variety of different hearing aids available, including behind the ear (BTE), in the ear (ITE) and in the canal (ITC). Each hearing aid has its own fitting and features, and the right one will depend on your real ear measurements. With every ear canal having a different shape, size and even a different type of bend to them, you may find that one type of hearing aid is more comfortable than another.

For example, a BTE hearing aid hooks over the ear and rests behind it, with the tube connecting a custom earpiece to the hearing aid. It is one of the larger devices, although there are smaller ones in design now. An ITE hearing aid can come as a half-shell or a full shell, are easy to handle, include volume control and are more visible than smaller hearing aids. An ITC hearing aid is smaller than the other devices and is custom molded to suit the individual. 

Helps to Identify the Right Programming for You 

Real ear measurements don’t just measure the shape and size of your ear, but also the acoustics. These measurements will help your audiologist provide you with the right hearing aid and program it for your hearing needs by adjusting the sound levels to match your requirements.

For example, a BTE hearing aid is known to be appropriate for all types of hearing loss, ITE hearing aids are best for mild-to-severe hearing loss and ITC hearing aids are known for mild-to-moderate hearing loss. They also have different features that may be suited to different ear acoustics, such as a double microphone.

Helps to Limit Amplification of The Wrong Sounds 

Hearing aids work with complex technology and can be adjusted to suit the individual. Real ear measurements are important, as they will identify for your audiologist that you can hear the right sounds through your hearing aid and will also help them to limit the amplification of the wrong sounds. The last thing you want is to experience noises that are constantly too loud or are too quiet.

This preservation of residual hearing is important, because without it, your hearing aid may amplify sounds that are not a part of normal hearing and in some cases, can harm your hearing. 

Getting real ear measurements is important before getting your hearing aid fitted, as well as an important step to maintain them. If you want comfortable and optimal hearing when you get your hearing aids fitted, then a real ear measurement is vital so that your audiologist can assess your hearing, better understand your individual needs and choose the most appropriate hearing device, with the correct programming for you. 

It is also important to note that it is perfectly normal for your ear shape and size to change over time, as well as the acoustics that you experience in one or both ears. These changes can be detected with real ear measurements, and as a result, your hearing aid can be adjusted accordingly, so you can experience optimum hearing. 

To learn more about Flynn Associates, you can contact us today. For Concord, call (978) 759-3540 and for Wellesley, call (781) 943-5040.