Real Ear test

Posted by JK, alumni mentor @contentandwell, Sep 20, 2019

I am due for hearing tests and have an appointment with my regular audiologist. I have “binaural sensorineural presbycusis”. I have read that Real Ear testing can be a great help, I presume in programming new hearing aids. My audiologist does not do them so I am looking into changing to either Massachusetts Eye and Ear or Lahey Clinic for the testing and possible purchase of new hearing aids. ME&E prescribes Oticon, Phonak, and ReSound hearing aids, Lahey prescribes Phonak and Signia (formerly Siemens). I am favoring ME&E because of their choice of hearing aids.
My question is, have those of you who have had Real Ear testing found it to be helpful?

Also, I have a problem with clarity, something that was much worse than it had been when I had hearing tests three years ago. For that reason my audiologist prescribed the Oticon Opn 1 hearing aids because at that time they had the best software to help with that. Which brands of hearing aids have helped those of you who also suffer from clarity problems the most? These darned hearing aids are so costly that any advice I can garner to help me decide will be appreciated. Of course I hope the audiologist will have the best information on which will give me the best service.

Thanks. I am especially interested in knowing about how much the Real Ear testing helps.
JK

I have had Oticon hearing aids for almost 2 years now and love them as they give me much greater clarity. I also have TV Adaptor that allows Oticon aids to connect to digital out TV signal with surround sound high quality independent of TV speakers that my wife still uses. I also use bluetooth to listen to audio books at the YMCA gym connected to my aids. Recently I did have problem with right ear and decided to have ENT do hearing test. It came out the same as it did before I got the aids so I went back to audiologist and they found problem with aid and repaired it for free as aids are still under warranty.

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@dsh33782

I have had Oticon hearing aids for almost 2 years now and love them as they give me much greater clarity. I also have TV Adaptor that allows Oticon aids to connect to digital out TV signal with surround sound high quality independent of TV speakers that my wife still uses. I also use bluetooth to listen to audio books at the YMCA gym connected to my aids. Recently I did have problem with right ear and decided to have ENT do hearing test. It came out the same as it did before I got the aids so I went back to audiologist and they found problem with aid and repaired it for free as aids are still under warranty.

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@dsh33782 Thanks for responding.
My Oticon Opn 1 aids were also an improvement on clarity from my previous HAs, but the directionality is not as good with these as it was with my old aids, Phonaks. With the Phonaks I could be a noisy restaurant and click that feature on, and be able to hear the other people at the table, when facing them, better than they could hear each other! I do not have the TV adapter, I don't watch TV that much, but I also have the Connect Clip which really helps in some situations if the person is willing to wear it. I have had people say that they did not want to wear it. I too had a problem at one point and the aids were sent back to Oticon, and sure enough the aids had a problem. The replacement ones made a huge difference.

So, did you have the "real ear" test? That's what I am trying to figure out, if it makes a difference so I should plan to go to an audiologist who does it. From what I can understand that test is done after you get the hearing aids to determine if they are doing what they should be doing for your hearing. Is that correct?

Thanks, Don.
JK

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@contentandwell

@dsh33782 Thanks for responding.
My Oticon Opn 1 aids were also an improvement on clarity from my previous HAs, but the directionality is not as good with these as it was with my old aids, Phonaks. With the Phonaks I could be a noisy restaurant and click that feature on, and be able to hear the other people at the table, when facing them, better than they could hear each other! I do not have the TV adapter, I don't watch TV that much, but I also have the Connect Clip which really helps in some situations if the person is willing to wear it. I have had people say that they did not want to wear it. I too had a problem at one point and the aids were sent back to Oticon, and sure enough the aids had a problem. The replacement ones made a huge difference.

So, did you have the "real ear" test? That's what I am trying to figure out, if it makes a difference so I should plan to go to an audiologist who does it. From what I can understand that test is done after you get the hearing aids to determine if they are doing what they should be doing for your hearing. Is that correct?

Thanks, Don.
JK

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My audiologist does do hearing tests with aids in, but it does not seem as extensive as the ENT hearing test in a sound proof booth.
But the report showed the same dropoff in hearing as I had several years ago. I have heard that Phonak may have current lead in ha's so will look at those as well as Oticon when its time to replace current aids.

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JK, I cannot speak from experience but my understanding is that only a small percentage of audiologists use Real Ear Measurement (REM) to fine tune a hearing aid to match your audiogram. Here's a link to Dr. Cliff's YouTube channel that describes REM. I suggest you subscribe to his YouTube channel since he posts some very good educational information about hearing aids. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHR0Oa6I-wY
Tony in Michigan

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@tonyinmi

JK, I cannot speak from experience but my understanding is that only a small percentage of audiologists use Real Ear Measurement (REM) to fine tune a hearing aid to match your audiogram. Here's a link to Dr. Cliff's YouTube channel that describes REM. I suggest you subscribe to his YouTube channel since he posts some very good educational information about hearing aids. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHR0Oa6I-wY
Tony in Michigan

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Thank you, @tonyinmi This is exactly what I needed to know, great video. I am now subscribed too.
I am quite certain that at my current audiologist they do not do real ear measurements. They do some testing after I have the aids in but it's not nearly as extensive as in this video. I plan to call them tomorrow and cancel my upcoming appointment and make one at one of the Mass Eye and Ear satellite locations. It's about an hour away, so not very convenient if I need a slight adjustment, but if it will help me to hear better it will be worth it. I really like the audiologist I go to, she's almost like a friend, so that will be hard but now I do have a good reason to tell her why I am changing.

This video has me cautiously excited that maybe, just maybe, my hearing can be improved. What I am hoping of course is that they will be able to work with the Oticon hearing aids I already have since Oticon is one of the brands that they do dispense.
Thanks again.

@dsh33782 It sounds as if what your audiologist does is similar to what mine does, and that is not "Real Ear Measurements".

When I got these Oticons, I think it was almost 3 years ago, they had the latest technology in improving clarity which was why I switched from Phonaks to Oticons. The hearing aid center I plan to go dispenses Oticon, Phonak, and ReSound so I am sure out of those three, if they cannot program my Oticon aids to work better for me, they will be able to decide which will give me the most help.
JK

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