If you have been diagnosed with hearing loss in Portland and your audiologist recommends hearing aids as a treatment solution, you will invariably undergo a fitting. This is the process in which your audiologist will program your hearing aids to your specific hearing loss in order to maximize their performance. As crucial as the hearing aid fitting is, unless your audiologist relies on real-ear verification, you may be settling for less-than-perfect results.
Real-ear verification doesn’t just focus on the type and degree of hearing loss; it takes into account the patient’s unique ear anatomy, as well. Structural factors such as ear canal volume can have a significant impact on device performance, but the programming software many audiologists rely on cannot accurately pick up this information. The result? Improper amplification levels and substandard performance. Real-ear verification offers superior accuracy and provides a true measurement of the hearing aids’ effectiveness in relation to a patient’s specific hearing loss.
As effective as real-ear verification is, only about 4 in 10 audiologists use the technology. The reason for such low compliance rates? Real-ear verification is more time-consuming, and the equipment is expensive. Some audiologists are content with the fitting algorithms used by the programming software. But those who do master the process can usually complete it relatively quickly; each ear takes about five minutes. A microphone is inserted into the ear and hearing aid output is plotted on a chart, providing objective scientific data instead of guesswork.
If you are looking for hearing aids in Portland, check to see if your audiologist utilizes real ear measurements during the fitting process.