Live Speech Mapping
In the past, hearing evaluations and fittings for hearing aids consisted mostly of a series of beeps and noises. Today, audiologists are equipped with new technologies and methods to make the hearing evaluation process and hearing aid programming process more effective.
One of the more advanced technologies available is live speech mapping / REM is a method of fitting hearing aids using speech as a stimulus to help the specialist adjust hearing aids to the right settings for each wearer. Live speech mapping makes fitting appointments more interactive and can reduce the number of office visits required for successful hearing aid programming by measuring the sound of a significant other's voice at the level of the ear drum. REM achieves similar results by using a recorded sample such as ISTS (international speech test signal.)
What is live speech mapping?
Live speech mapping is a hearing aid verification method that is used to ensure that your hearing aids are programmed for your individual needs. With this method, small microphones placed in the ear canal are used to measure the response of the hearing aid in your ear taking into account the natural and individual characteristics of both your ear and your hearing loss. For your live speech mapping appointment, you will be asked to bring along a family member or close friend to act as the “gauge” in your ability to hear live voices.
Your hearing care professional will have high-tech equipment that will allow him or her to “see” what you are hearing through your hearing aids on a screen in real-time. The results will be displayed on a screen so that you can also see the adjustments and participate in the process. This allows both you and your family members to visualize and understand the differences that hearing aids can make in your hearing ability.
Benefits of live speech mapping
Live speech mapping is known for its accuracy. Without speech mapping verification, other methods to program your hearing aid may require additional adjustments. Live speech mapping increases the chances that your hearing aid programming will be done correctly on the first try. As they say in carpentry, "Measure twice, cut once." This philosophy should be adhered to with in hearing aid fitting as well.
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 your ability to hear. 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 speech mapping, 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.
What is Real Ear Measurement? (REM)
Real ear measurement or REM is very similar to speech mapping, but it uses a recorded signal from a speaker rather than a live person. It is also a very visual process where you can see what parts of speech you can hear with your hearing aids and which ones may still be inaudible due to the hearing aids current fitting level.
Benefits live speech mapping / Real Ear Measurement
- Focuses on the important and basic function of being able to effectively hear human speech
- Engages both you and your family in the fitting process
- Provides immediate and tangible results
- Shown to increase successful outcomes of fittings
- Increases your confidence and comfort in using your new hearing aids
- Provides more accurate programming of hearing aids
- Reduces number of return visits
Contact your hearing health professional to find out how live speech mapping and REM can provide you with a more enjoyable and accurate hearing aid fitting experience.