Perfect Hearing Aid Fitting
What is an average person? What is an average ear? What is an average hearing loss? The questions seem silly, but they are exceptionally important within the world of hearing healthcare. Let us explain further, the tradition of hearing aid fitting in the private sector, has generally been based around a hearing test carried out either in a retail outlet or in the comfort of the clients home. This would be followed by a demonstration of ‘ amplification’ and a subsequent purchase of a set of hearing aids.
The hearing aids would be ordered and fitted to the clients hearing loss by using a laptop or other handheld device ‘loaded’ with the manufacturers fitting software. This sophisticated software calculates the amount of gain or volume that is required by the hearing aid wearer to maintain the understanding of speech, based upon degree of loss, any previous hearing aid experience, and the acoustic properties of the ‘average’ ear.
No More Averages With Aurical
However, what is an average ear? What is an average hearing loss? Averages are not enough when it comes to delivering real benefit to someone with hearing loss. Here at Island Hearing, we use the most sophisticated fitting equipment available – the Aurical Freefit, to ensure that we are at the cutting edge of technology – anything but average.
The Aurical is state of the art audiological testing and hearing aid fitting equipment from our equipment partners GN Otometrics. It allows us to customise, verify and fine tune hearing aids in real time in real life situations while our patient sits in the comfort of our clinic.
Real Ear Measurement
The ear canal is essentially a hollow tube blocked off at one end by the eardrum. By placing a very small microphone close to the eardrum and presenting a stimulus signal, we can measure the actual response of the ear to sound stimulus and determine the ‘real ear measurement’ rather than a predicted response determined by the ‘average’ default setting obtained in the fitting software.
This enables us to select the hearing solution best suited to the clients hearing loss and to make ongoing adjustments based on ‘actual’ rather than ‘ estimated’ measurements. This results in a hearing aid fitting that is not only bespoke but verifiable to the user, as all adjustments and targets are visible on screen.
Visible Speech Mapping
Another innovative and interactive tool that allows us to visibly show the patient how much volume is applied by their hearing aids to speech in both quiet, and exacting situations ie; excessive background noise. Again all adjustments are visible to the client and carried out in real time, the client can see where they need adjustment and see the adjustment take effect. This removes any element of guesswork from the fitting and more importantly, negates the effects of client tiredness during the re-habilitation process.
This highly innovative approach to the fitting process ensures that our clients can get the best out of their hearing aids, regardless of the cost of the product. This procedure is regarded by most specialists in the field of audiology as the most exacting in the fitting process, and totally unique to Island Hearing on the Isle of Man.