Real-Ear Measurement: What, Why, and How

When you’re in need of a suit, you go to your tailor to get a perfectly fitted one. When you’re in need of a graded eyeglasses, you pay a visit to your optometrist to get a prescription. Suits and eyeglasses are the same when it comes to hearing aids. If you want a hearing aid that perfectly fits your needs, you go to your trusted hearing care clinic and have it customised.


Real-Ear Measurement (REM)


In REM, the shape and size of the ear canal is measured. These parts of the ear significantly influence the performance of a hearing instrument. By carrying out real-ear measurements, we are able to adjust your hearing aid settings to best suit your condition.


Why should it be done?


Think of your ear as if it were a fingerprint. It is unique for everyone. Hearing aids are based on one sized and shaped ear. It doesn’t actually fit your ear perfectly. It can be too big or too small, too loose or too tight. These can possibly affect the comfort of wearing your hearing device.


Real ear measurements are also important because it makes it easier for us to understand clients who are unable to respond properly. A person, let’s say an adult, can respond correctly and accurately when asked by the doctor. They can describe if the sound is too loud or too soft. However, this will be a particularly difficult task if the patient is, let’s say, a baby who can barely say a word, or a handicapped person.


What happens during REM?


Using a loudspeaker, sounds are presented to the client. A microphone is located near the ear. This measures the sound’s intensity. Another microphone is directly placed inside the ear canal just in front of the eardrum. With this process, the doctor has a better idea on the sound intensity both outside and inside the ear. The client is now able to determine the actual amplification and output that he or she will receive through his hearing aid. The client can then make adjustments that can help him have a better hearing experience.


Real-Ear-to-Coupler-Difference


A type of real-ear measurement is called real-ear-to-coupler-difference or just simply RECD. Most hearing aid shops have hearing instrument analysers that is used to adjust hearing instruments. The coupler used for this analyser is commonly much bigger than the ear canal with a size of 2cc. It also has an ear mold inside. It is because of this that the sound will be too loud. Children have very small ear canals and the use of this coupler can be dangerous and uncomfortable.


With RECD, signals will be measured one at a time with the coupler and a second time in the ear while wearing the ear mold. The difference of the ear and coupler performance can now be measured. The device, with much help from RECD, can now be adjusted to perform in the utmost quality.


Listening Lab employs real ear measurement for verification. We have specialised equipment and expertise to assure that the procedure goes well and smoothly. Why don’t you book an appointment now and get that perfect and uniquely yours hearing aid?