Hearing aids are sophisticated pieces of technology with remarkable capabilities. Some have defined the moment they received their hearing aids as life changing. While we definitely agree that hearing aid technology is better than ever before, we also know that working with the right audiologist and personalized hearing aid settings are crucial for optimal success.
A hearing aid manufacturer’s default program settings often provide insufficient volume in the region of sound that is critical for speech understanding. This is sometimes the reason that a new hearing aid user will feel their hearing aids are disappointing them: they are simply set to a “computer default” and not personalized for their hearing loss. In addition, some hearing aid fittings do not include methods that make the hearing evaluation process and hearing aid programming process most effective. This is where Live Speech Mapping helps!
What is Live Speech Mapping?
Live speech mapping is a fitting and verification method that is used to ensure that your hearing aids are programmed for your individual needs. The process of measuring the actual output of a hearing aid in a patient’s ear is called Verification, and one of the most popular and effective verification tools is Speech Mapping. During Speech Mapping, a small, thin probe microphone is placed down in the ear canal next to a patient’s ear drum. A hearing aid then is placed in the ear next to the microphone. The patient listens to a speech passage and the amplified speech is measured and “mapped out” by frequency and volume. This allows your provider to see the sound output of the hearing aid and make real-time adjustments to ensure that you can hear the frequencies that are critical for speech understanding.
In a live speech mapping appointment, it is helpful to bring along a family member, close friend, or a familiar voice to act as the “gauge” in your ability to hear live voices. While performing Speech Mapping, the results can be displayed on a screen so that you can see the adjustments made and participate in the process. This way, you can SEE what you are HEARING through your hearing aids in real-time. Often times, this helps understand the real benefit of hearing aids programmed specifically to your hearing!
Involving family creates a positive fitting experience by allowing both you and your loved ones to see the immediate results that hearing aids can have on your quality of life. Sometimes if you have a hearing loss, you don’t fully know what you are missing since hearing loss happens so gradually. With Speech Mapping, you will have the ability to hear and see the improvements immediately, and see exactly what you can and cannot hear in real time.
Additional Benefits Live Speech Mapping:
- Focuses on the importance of being able to effectively hear and understand human speech
- Provides the opportunity to involve your loved ones in the fitting process
- Results that can be seen on display, allowing you to see adjustments made and participate in the process
- Personalized hearing aid programming specifically for your hearing loss
Verification procedures, like Speech Mapping, are considered the audiology “gold standard” for optimal hearing aid fittings. The understanding and use of these techniques distinguishes excellent providers from the average. At Tustin Hearing Center, our fittings are verified using Speech Mapping, which is one of the many processes we have in place to ensure our patient’s success with their investment in better hearing.