In the past, audiology was mainly a practice of trial and sometimes error. Doctors, scientists, and audiologists tried their best to create hearing improvement for various cases, using whatever technology they had at their disposal at the time.
Today, audiologists are equipped with new technologies and methods to make hearing aid programming process more effective. Now, we can tailor to individual approach to each of our clients, giving them a unique and efficient process to improve their hearing.
A great example of new technology that has already been widely beneficial is live speech mapping. Live speech mapping is an exciting new method of fitting hearing aids using speech as a stimulus to help the audiologist verify the sound being amplified by the hearing aids while they are in your ears. Live speech mapping can significantly reduce the number of office visits required for successful hearing aid programming by making hearing aid adjustment more interactive and personal.
How It’s Done
One important thing to note about live speech mapping is the delicate and personal process with which it is carried out. In a broad sense, live speech mapping is a fitting and verification method used to ensure your hearing aids are programmed for your individual needs. Small microphones placed in the ear canal measure the amount of amplification obtained for all speech sounds.
For your live speech mapping appointment, you will need to bring along a family member or close friend to act as a second pair of ears in your ability to hear live voices.
Then, your audiologist will use equipment in the sound-treated booth. This process will let your audiologist see what you hear through your hearing aids on a screen in real-time. These results are displayed on a wall-mounted screen. This enables you and whomever you might bring to the appointment see the outcome of the test. It also allows both of you to see and understand the actual difference that hearing aids can make in your hearing ability.
The Benefits of Live Speech Mapping
Above all, live speech mapping is known for its extreme accuracy. Live speech mapping dramatically increases the chances that your hearing aid settings will be done correctly on the first try, ensuring that you aren’t constantly running back to your audiologist for adjustments–saving you time and inconvenience.
Live speech mapping also creates a vastly more positive fitting experience for patients. This happens because all of those present for the procedure can see the immediate results of a hearing aid fitting test. Live speech mapping also engages and involves all present in the hearing aid fine-tuning process, giving everyone a voice and a bit of relief.
Often with hearing loss, the patient is simply taking the audiologist’s work on what he or she cannot hear. With this method, the patient is shown precisely what speech sounds they cannot hear without the hearing aids, compared to what they can hear with them.
Besides these benefits, live speech mapping has increased patients’ confidence and comfort in using their new hearing aids. Also, it has made extraordinary strides in the accurate programming of hearing aids.
Who Might Benefit From Live Speech Mapping?
The applications to technology such as this in the hearing world are almost limitless. With over 40 million people in the United States currently suffering from some form of hearing loss, the addition of live speech mapping could potentially help millions.
If you’re like many people, you first discovered you had a hearing loss because those around you pointed out what you were missing. Your brain adapts to changing hearing so effectively, you may not be aware you’ve lost hearing unless yours was unusually sudden.
While live speech mapping helps those with hearing loss, it can also significantly help the families of those with hearing loss. Hearing loss can be challenging to handle for both those going through it and the family of those affected. With live speech mapping, the process keeps your loved ones in the loop, letting them see and hear everything involved in the process, and giving them a piece of mind.
In the past, hearing aids often went unused due to the jarring changes a person experienced with restored hearing. Live speech mapping helps your brain adapt more easily to assisted listening, helping you find a long-term solution instead of a short-term fix.
Here at Hearing Associates of Las Vegas, we strive to stay up to date on the latest and greatest technology in hearing loss. If you or a loved one believe that you may be suffering from some form of hearing loss, contact Hearing Associates of Las Vegas immediately to set up a hearing evaluation.
Simply making a phone call or sending an email could be the difference between healthy hearing and sliding down the long path towards permanent hearing loss.