In the past, hearing evaluations and fittings for hearing aids consisted mostly of a series of beeps and noises. At Sonus Hearing Care Professionals we are equipped with new technologies and methods to make the hearing evaluation process and hearing aid programming more effective.
One of the more advanced technologies available is live speech mapping, an exciting new method of fitting hearing aids using speech as a stimulus to help the Audiologist adjust hearing aids to the right settings for each patient. Live speech mapping makes fitting appointments more effective and can reduce the number of office visits required for successful hearing aid programming.
What is Live Speech Mapping?
Live speech mapping allows the Audiologist to measure the exact amount of sound received by the patient’s eardrum at each pitch, which ensures an extremely accurate fit based on the patient’s individual hearing loss and ear canal characteristics. Use of live speech mapping also allows the patient and their loved one to see each pitch as the hearing aid is adjusted. It also helps the Audiologist explain and demonstrate how each adjustment can enhance or detract from the patient’s ability to hear speech. This can be done with recorded speech signals or even the voice of the loved one!
The process of live speech mapping is simple and painless for the patient. First, a very thin and flexible tube is inserted into the ear canal, very close to the eardrum. This is the “probe” microphone. Then a microphone is hung over the ear, outside the ear canal. This is the “reference” microphone. By comparing the measurements of these two microphones, the Audiologist will know exactly how to adjust the hearing aids to make soft voices audible, average voices comfortable, and loud sounds tolerable. The Audiologist can also demonstrate the advanced functionality of the instruments, which provides the patient with a better understanding of how the hearing aids function in different environments.
Benefits of Live Speech Mapping
Live speech mapping is known for its accuracy. Other mapping and hearing evaluation methods often need tweaking before the hearing aid works perfectly for the patient. Live speech mapping increases the chances that your hearing aid mapping will be done correctly on the first try.
Live speech mapping also creates a much more positive fitting experience by allowing both you and your family to see the immediate results of your hearing aids and their positive impact on daily life. Both you and your family will be engaged in the fitting process, making it a joint affair.
If you have a hearing loss, you may not be able to fully understand what you can and cannot hear, and therefore, you may not understand everything you are missing. With this method, you will have the ability to hear the improvements immediately, and you will be shown exactly what you can and cannot hear in real-time.
Live speech mapping is truly a wonderful new technology for Audiologists, the patient, and their families alike. Using live speech mapping truly separates the practices that are committed to total patient satisfaction from all the rest. Be aware, not all clinics use live speech mapping. In most cases, the manufacturer’s “best fit” is a far cry from the most accurate fit. The only way to know for sure what a patient is hearing is to measure. When picking an Audiologist, make sure to add live speech mapping to your list of must-haves!Contact Sonus Hearing Care Professionals to find out how live speech mapping can provide you with a more enjoyable hearing aid mapping experience.