Evaluating the Performance of a Hearing Aid in the Real-Ear: What a Little Hearing Aid Tweaking Can DoBy Ross, Mark; Hearing Loss Magazine, Vol. 28, No. 5, pp. 28-32
Publication Date: September/October 2007
Review of testing methods used to fit a hearing aid. Older methods are described, such as test boxes, where the hearing aid output is delivered into a coupler, a small cavity intended to simulate the ear canal, to check the electroacoustic performance of the aid. Digital hearing aids call for new testing methods as they require programming before fitting, which involves defining specific target goals, with targets and their variations displayed visually on a computer screen. However, neither the coupler responses nor the programming displays are meant to apply to any specific person. A preferable method outlined in the article is the real-ear measure, which displays the actual acoustic energy within the ear canal of a particular person. The method employs a flexible tube inserted alongside the hearing aid of its wearer and terminating between the tip of the earmold and the eardrum. The tube leads from the ear canal to a microphone outside the ear. The sounds detected by this system reveal the real-ear output of the hearing aid for the individual wearing it. Real speech is used as test stimuli, a capability called “speech mapping.” Also reviewed is a recently developed line of hearing aids by Starkey where the aid itself doubles as the real-ear measuring device.
Published by: Hearing Loss Association of America (formerly Self Help for Hard of Hearing People) (Website:http://www.hearingloss.org)
This publication is included in the library of the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC), accession number J53064