Live Speech Mapping/Real Ear Measurement
What is Live Speech Mapping?
Live speech mapping is a form of Real Ear Measurement, used to ensure that your hearing aids are programmed for your particular hearing needs during conversations. Here’s how it works:
1. To ensure no wax or other material will interfere with the test, we first inspect your ears with an otoscope.
2. Inside the ear canals, probe-microphones are inserted until they are a quarter-inch from your eardrums. The hearing aids are then fitted into the ears for the test.
3. We then play some speech sounds. The hearing aids pick up these sounds and process them.
4. The probe microphone picks up the processed sound and analyzes it using real-ear measurement tools.
5. By comparing it to what your hearing aid prescription should be, we can see how well your hearing aids are doing.
6. The hearing aid frequencies are then changed to fit the intended or recommended target volume.
Why Live Speech Mapping is the Gold Standard for Hearing Aid Fittings
In a standard 'first fit' method of hearing aid programming, hearing aids are configured based on an approximate prescription determined solely from the results of your puretone hearing test. A hearing provider may then ask you how the hearing aids sound and make changes based on your interpretation of the sound. The problem is, when you have grown accustomed to not hearing all of the sounds you are supposed to be hearing, your interpretation might not be the best judge of the sound.
That’s why here at Hearing Solutions of North Carolina we use live speech mapping. Live speech mapping is recognized as the gold standard in audiology for verifying that your hearing aids are precisely programmed to support your hearing needs.
- It provides an objective measurement of a good fit. We have the means to test the accuracy of our fitting of hearing aids objectively rather than relying on subjective interpretation.
- It allows us to tailor settings based on your ear anatomy. When manufacturers of hearing aids build a hearing aid and determine how to program it, they do so based on an “average” ear size and shape. But our ears are so unique there is even talk of using the ear as a means of identification instead of a fingerprint! Live speech mapping allows us to account for these unique features.
Four out of five people favored the output of hearing aids fitted with live speech mapping compared to factory default settings, a recent study concluded. Live speech mapping gave them a word recognition improvement of 15 percent and a significant improvement when listening in background noise.
We are Proud Providers of Live Speech Mapping
Not many providers do live speech mapping, but we do! Recent research has found that only about a third of hearing professionals are using live speech mapping. It can be challenging to learn how to perform the procedure, and it takes a little longer than using the default hearing aid fitting system. But for the satisfaction our patients get from the process, we know it is worth it.
If you're interested in setting up an appointment to learn more about how we can help you get the most from your hearing aids, do not hesitate to contact us today.