What Is Live Speech Mapping?

Through hearing tests, your audiologist gets an idea of how you hear, which frequencies you retain, as well as which you’ve lost. Virtually every person with hearing loss has their own hearing fingerprint. These results, called an audiogram, serve as a good basis for programming hearing aids to match your hearing loss.

However, that programming doesn’t always channel into the sound response needed at the eardrum. A verification method is necessary to ensure that the intended programming produces the expected result. Enter live speech mapping.

Measuring the output of a hearing aid in the ear canal in real time gives a more accurate picture of how a hearing aid performs, so the result you hear is the sound that’s right for you. Hearing & Balance Services of Reston offers live speech mapping to their hearing aid patients to smooth the transition to their new devices. Our team can do the same for you.

The need for real results

Those who’ve had hearing assessments know the process that uses a series of frequency tones that vary in loudness. This creates an accurate picture of your ability to hear sounds across the frequency spectrum. It would be the ideal way to prescribe hearing aids, if all you listened to were a series of tones.

In practice, speech is the most crucial sound source you need to hear, and it doesn’t arrive at your ear in discrete tones of equal volume. Tone tests may succeed in showing how well you hear, but they’re not as effective at evaluating how well you understand. Live speech mapping bridges this gap between abstract testing and real-world conditions.

Factoring your variables

Another problem with traditional hearing tests is they make no allowance for your anatomy. The shape of your ear and ear canal influence how you perceive sound, and without a way to include these factors, a hearing aid won’t produce the expected response. This can lead to patient dissatisfaction, as they need repeated adjustments, each requiring a visit to their hearing aid provider.

The advantage of live speech mapping

While any patient can benefit, the first-time hearing aid wearer typically sees the greatest results, even if they don’t realize it. For them, the hearing aid adjustment process seems straightforward and simple. Their initial results using live speech mapping are close or at the ideal level for practical use.

Many first-time hearing aid patients experience a sense of shock when first fitted. Sounds become louder, but they may not be close to the ideal balance. Hearing with their new aids can be a chore, at least until they can express their issues to the audiologist, who then attempts to reprogram the hearing aids to match patient feedback.

With live speech mapping, we have the ability to measure how your hearing aids actually translate sound in the ear canal. We can compare what you hear with what you’re supposed to hear, eliminating the need for an endless cycle of adjustment appointments.

Contact Hearing & Balance Services of Reston to start the hearing assessment process. Contemporary hearing aids are more comfortable and more accurate than ever, thanks in part to live speech mapping. Today’s the day to find out what you’ve been missing, so schedule your appointment now.

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