"Real-Ear" Hearing Aid Measurements- When fitting new hearing aids, we measure and plot the output of sound in your ear canal while you are wearing the hearing aid against your hearing loss to ensure adequate volume and appropriate frequency response to give you the best speech signal. We also ensure that the maximum volume out of the hearing aid is not uncomfortable.
In the past, hearing evaluations and fittings for hearing aids consisted mostly of a series of beeps and noises. Today, audiologists are equipped with new technologies and methods to make the hearing evaluation process and hearing aid programming process more effective.
One of the more advanced technologies available is speech mapping, an exciting new method of fitting for hearing aids using speech as a stimulus to help the specialist adjust hearing aids to the right settings for each wearer. Speech mapping makes fitting appointments more interactive and can reduce the number of office visits required for successful hearing aid programming.
What is Speech Mapping?
Speech mapping is a fitting and verification method that is used to ensure that your hearing aids are programmed for your individual needs. With this method, small microphones placed in the ear canal are used to distinguish differences in how you are able to hear speech through your hearing aids.
For your speech mapping appointment, you will be asked to bring along a family member or close friend to act as the "gauge" in your ability to hear live voices.
Your audiologist will have high-tech equipment that will allow him or her to "see" what you are hearing through your hearing aids on a screen in real-time. The results may also be displayed on a wall-mounted screen so that you can also see the adjustments and participate in the process. This allows both you and your family members to visualize and understand the differences that hearing aids can make in your hearing ability.
Benefits of Speech Mapping
Speech mapping is known for its accuracy. Other mapping and hearing evaluation methods often need tweaking before the hearing aid works perfectly for the user. Speech mapping increases the chances that your hearing aid mapping will be done correctly on the first try.
Speech mapping also creates a much more positive fitting experience by allowing both you and your family to see the immediate results of your hearing aids and their positive impact on daily life. Both you and your family will be engaged in the fitting process, making it a joint affair.
If you have a hearing loss, you may not be able to fully understand what you can and cannot hear, and therefore, you may not understand everything you are missing. With this method, you will have the ability to hear the improvements immediately, and you will be shown exactly what you can and cannot hear in real-time.
Additional Benefits Speech Mapping:
- Focuses on the important and basic function of being able to effectively hear human speech
- Engages both you and your family in the fitting process
- Provides immediate and tangible results
- Shown to increase successful outcomes of fittings
- Increases your confidence and comfort in using your new hearing aids
- Provides more accurate programming of hearing aids
Speech mapping is truly a wonderful new technology for audiologists, the hearing-impaired individual, and their families alike. Contact your audiologist to find out how speech mapping can provide you with a more enjoyable hearing aid mapping experience.