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Published on January 01, 2019

‘Real Ear’ Technology Verifies Hearing Aid Fit

Man with Real ear device

A tiny silicone probe microphone in the ear canal helps
measure hearing aid function.

Having a well-fitting hearing aid is paramount for people with hearing loss. However, hearing aid manufacturers do not account for the unique shape of a person’s ear anatomy. This can result in hearing aids that do not provide appropriate amplification.

Certified audiologists at Meritas Health ENT are now using a device that can verify hearing aid performance and help them make any needed adjustments. Using Verifit 2, a “real-ear” measurement system and hearing aid test box, the audiologist inserts a tiny silicone probe microphone into the ear canal of a patient who is wearing a hearing aid. Connected to a microphone outside the ear, the probe sends information that allows the audiologist to determine whether hearing aid amplification is
functioning correctly.

“One of the issues we have with hearing aids is that everyone’s anatomy is unique, and hearing aid manufacturers cannot account for everyone. This can result in ill-fitting hearing aids,” said Lisa Schuster, AuD, CCC-A, an audiologist with Meritas Health ENT. “With ‘real-ear’ testing, we can account for an individual’s specific ear canal, measure what is actually coming out of the hearing aid into the person’s ear canal, and then make any needed adjustments to make sure the patient receives the needed level of amplification at every frequency.”

Additionally, audiologists can use the test box to measure other hearing aid features, such as directional microphones, to ensure they are functioning properly.

Schuster treats patients at Meritas Health ENT on the North Kansas City Hospital campus. Marie Willis, AuD, CCC-A, cares for people at Meritas Health ENT’s North Oak location.

Lisa Schuster, Au.D., CCC-ALisa Schuster, AuD, CCC-A

Schuster earned her doctorate in audiology from Salus University. She was a fellow in audiology at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.