Real-Ear Fitting Method
The manufacturer recommended settings for hearing aids are issued with the average hearing aid user, and average ear acoustics in mind, which means that an average degree of hearing loss is addressed in the hearing aid software settings when they leave the factory. While these standard settings may satisfy the needs of many hearing aid users, they also often miss the mark, because they do not take into account the very personal hearing situation and individual ear acoustics of each patient.
That is why at Intermountain Audiology we offer custom fit hearing aid services for our patients, carefully evaluating hearing needs and performing adjustments to fit the needs of the user. We perform a systematic program of probe-microphone testing and verification, where the optimum settings can be established for any given patient using Verifit2 technology by Audioscan
Hearing aids are not a one size fits all product, but rather a prescribed fit for each individual. Using a prescriptive component we take into account the patient’s actual hearing situation and thus we customize your hearing solution for optimum clarity and understanding.
A Better Hearing Solution
When hearing devices are shipped from a manufacturer, the software settings are established with no specific users involved, i.e. software settings are established which are thought to be most advantageous for the proprietary construction of the hearing device.
When audiologists fit them to patients the factory setting is changed, but usually to a setting at the doctors discretion, or at a setting typical for new hearing loss patients. In effect, no real ear testing or verification takes place in either of these supposedly prescriptive methods. However, at Intermountain Audiology we go one step further than most.
This is where real-ear probe-microphone verification can play a huge role in establishing precise settings that are most beneficial to the specific wearer of a hearing device. The tremendous advantage of real-ear measurements is that it allows your audiologist to evaluate your hearing while you are actually wearing the device.
The first step in the real-ear method is to actually measure the size and shape of your ear canal so that we know the acoustic parameters we are working with. Then, using a small microphone inserted in the ear canal, an audiologist introduces a sound which is detected by the microphone, and that sound detection is compared to what the microphone senses without the hearing aid in place. From this comparison, through repetitive trial and error, the most useful software setting can be selected to fit the user’s specific degree of hearing loss.