5 WORST Excuses to NOT use Real Ear Measurement. Dr. Cliff Olson, Audiologist and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Anthem Arizona, discusses 5 of the worst excuses he has ever heard for not using Real Ear Measurement while programming hearing aids.
Like most industries, in the hearing care world we have something called Best Practices. Best Practices are essentially a set of guidelines that are developed by reviewing Evidence Based Research. This removes personal opinion from determining what the most effective forms of treatment are.
If you would like to see the Best Practice Guidelines for the Audiologic Management of Adult Hearing Impairment, click here: 5. https://audiology-web.s3.amazonaws.co...
Yet no matter how much research there is surrounding a topic, and there is a TON surrounding Real Ear Measurement, I constantly receive emails from individuals who ask me if the Excuse their Hearing Care provider gives for not doing them make any sense.
That is why I created a list of 5 of the WORST excuses for not doing Real Ear Measures in this video:
Bad Excuse #1. New hearing aids are so advanced that they can self-calibrate to your hearing loss.
If you truly believe that a hearing aid self-calibration could perfectly fit your hearing loss, then why would you need a hearing care provider at all? The truth is, even hearing aid manufacturers themselves advise providers to perform Real Ear Measurement. They request this because they know more hearing aids are returned for refunds when these measurements are not performed.Bad Excuse #2. Real Ear Measurement is only for complex cases of hearing loss.Yes, some hearing losses are more complex than others. However, all hearing losses have a prescription that must be met. Does a surgeon only wash his/her hands before "complex" surgeries? No, they wash their hands for all surgeries because best practices indicate that they should. Complex or not, the only way to ensure that your hearing loss prescription is being met is to perform Real Ear Measurement.
Bad Excuse #3. Real Ear Measurement can't be used in cases of Single Sided Deafness (SSD).
When you have SSD, some of your treatment options included CROS and BiCROS. This is when sound is taken from your deaf side and sent to your better hearing ear. This helps to overcome headshadow effects. It is comical to think that you wouldn't need to verify if the headshadow effect has been compensated for and if a prescription for hearing loss in the better ear has been met.
Bad Excuse #4. Real Ear Measurements don't provide any additional benefit over not using them.
Yes, in some cases default programming of hearing aids will provide some hearing benefit. However, research study after research study indicate that performing Real Ear Measurement provides consistently better outcomes than not performing them. In a study be Levitt and Flexor (2012), the performance of seven hearing aids were compared with using REMs and without using REMs in a background noise. In every device, the performance in background noise was better when Real Ear Measurement was used. Even the Old Analog hearing aid programmed using REMs outperformed all of the Premium Digital hearing aids that did not have these measurements performed on them.
Bad excuse #5. Real Ear Measurements are not repeatable.
This is probably the worst excuse of them all. The claim is that from measurement to measurement, you will get different results. However, any Real Ear equipment that has been properly calibrated is designed to function within a specific +/- range of repeatability. They even have reference microphones to ensure that the sound coming out of the loudspeaker is at the correct level throughout the measurement. Just to be clear, there is no test in the history of the world that doesn't have at least some variability.
The question is, does it fall within the pre-determined realm of acceptability? With Real Ear Measurement, the answer is YES!
Ultimately, I find it sad that some hearing care providers feel the need to fabricate excuses as to why they don't feel the need to perform Real Ear Measurement. After all, it is no secret that Best Practice guidelines indicate that REMs are the Gold standard for hearing aid verification. So the next time a hearing care provider gives you a bogus reason not to verify your hearing aid programming, just politely tell them that you will be finding another hearing care provider who does.