Real Ear Measurement

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Real ear measurement (REM) is an audiometric procedure used to evaluate the performance of hearing aids. The purpose of REM is to ensure that the hearing aid provides the user with optimal audio quality and speech comprehension.

Real ear measures are compared to the individual’s known hearing threshold ranges. Based on these statistics, the hearing device can be modified to provide the maximum possible sound quality.

A precise ear measurement is essential for ensuring that hearing aids are properly fit. Real ear measurement (REM) may not be a required procedure, but if you work with an audiologist who employs this technique in their standard hearing aid fittings, you are more likely to achieve a higher rate of hearing aid success.

Real ear measurements match hearing loss prescriptions

Real ear measurement is essential because it plays a big role in ensuring that sound levels are tolerable. In a hearing aid prescription, the amount of amplification recommended for each particular frequency (pitch) is given. 

Numerous studies on hearing aids indicate that users with hearing devices that were fit and programmed using real-ear measurement have superior listening experiences than those who have not.

If your hearing aid fitting is not confirmed with real ear measurements, you may be missing out. Even with the most advanced hearing aid technology, it is hard to achieve your prescriptive goal with “First Fit” programming.

Real ear measurements and hearing aid success

Real ear measurements have a huge impact on the performance of a hearing aid. During real-ear measurement, an audiologist may ensure the most precise measurement that suits a patient’s hearing needs by taking into consideration the patient’s unique ear shape. Patients with hearing loss can utilize a device’s full capabilities as a result of this verification method.

Through real-ear measurements, it is possible to evaluate the hearing aid’s audio quality, amplification, and speech intelligibility across all frequencies at multiple loudness levels.

What is the difference between real ear measurement and auto hearing aid programming?

Some hearing aids provide an option called automated hearing aid programming that enables the device to automatically adjust to the user’s particular hearing needs. This is commonly known as First Fit.

The concern with First Fit programming is that they are not designed the same. Each hearing aid manufacturer has proprietary “First Fit” settings and unique algorithms specific to their products. This variability poses challenges in confirming a prescription under the “First Fit” settings, as they can differ. 

This is where we can appreciate the importance of real ear measurements. Through real ear measurements, audiologists can fine-tune hearing aids based on specific hearing aid prescriptions and the unique anatomy of the ear. At the end of the day, real ear measurements provide better hearing outcomes than generic First Fit settings.

Hearing Aids and Audiologists in Rye, NY

We hope this article has helped you appreciate and understand the importance of real ear measurements. We are not suggesting that audiologists and hearing aid dispensers who do not use REM are doing it incorrectly; but, if you want to get the most out of your hearing aids, we recommend you visit an audiologist who practices REM.

At Audiology and Speech Solutions, our passion is to improve the hearing of our patients. We can establish the optimal course of action that will enhance your hearing through the use of advanced diagnostic tests. We conduct real ear measurements to guarantee that you receive the best possible outcomes. While hearing aid software prepares the device according to your hearing test, individual ear differences can impact the transmission of sound. By doing real ear measurements, we can ensure that your device is delivering the correct volume of sound for optimal speech comprehension.

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Frequently Asked Questions

If you are willing to pay for audiology services out of pocket, self-referral is possible. There’s no need to see a doctor to get a referral if you are not going to avail any insurance benefits. However, if you are going to avail insurance for an audiologist consultation, a referral is needed.
Currently, all diagnostic audiological procedures covered by Medicare need a physician referral, with the main requirement influencing reimbursement being the purpose of testing. Medicare covers procedures that are medically necessary and appropriate for a patient’s treatment and diagnosis. The physician must write in the medical record the specific sign, symptom, or complaint that necessitates the service for each treatment charged.
A hearing instrument specialist is state-licensed hearing health professional trained to evaluate common types of hearing loss in adults and fit hearing aids. Audiologists are the primary health-care doctors who evaluate, diagnose, treat, and manage hearing loss and balance disorders in individuals of all ages from infants to adults and the elderly. Audiologists are also versed in fitting and fine tuning hearing technologies including hearing aids and surgically implanted devices.
Hearing aid dispensers (HADs) are fully qualified professionals who assess hearing and provide hearing aid aftercare. To employ hearing technology, hearing aid dispensers must be qualified and apply for a license. Audiologists can evaluate and diagnose a broader spectrum of hearing and balance issues. An audiologist is better suited for providing services related to balance problems, earwax impactions, and noise-induced hearing loss. Hearing aid maintenance, cleaning, repairs, and fitting adjustments can be performed by either specialist.

As audiologists and speech language pathologists, we focus on holistically treating all aspects of communication through diagnostics.