“Real Ear Measurements”…What are They and Do I Need Them?

If your current hearing aids are not working to your satisfaction, or if you are getting ready to purchase new hearing aids in Raleigh, NC or Cary, NC, you absolutely need to know about Real Ear Measurements. They can be the main difference between being happy with your hearing aids or sometimes struggling to understand what people are saying…especially in busy restaurants.


Just like a fingerprint, the size and shape of each person’s ear canal are unique. This means that audiologists need a technology to account for these differences when adjusting and fine-tuning hearing aids. The technology is called Real Ear Measurements (REM) and they are recognized as part of the “Gold Standard” of hearing healthcare. Real Ear Measurements use a tiny tube and microphone (see picture) to measure the hearing aid volume at your eardrum so the audiologist can adjust the hearing aids to make them more clear and comfortable.   It takes extra time, but is worth it. Real Ear Measurements assure you that the hearing aids are delivering maximum benefits.


In Canada it is a legal requirement that REMs are performed within 30 days of every hearing instrument fitting. In the United States, every leading university audiology program trains doctors to perform REMs. However, it is known that only 10-20% of hearing aid dealers and audiologists perform this important measurement and actually use the data!  Without REMs, the provider can only use guesswork and ask questions like “how does that sound?” This often means that you will not be satisfied with the hearing aids.


The good news is that if you already have hearing aids, and they are not “locked” by the provider who sold them to you, your hearing aids can still be finely tuned using REM. This will enable you to hear your best.

Before you schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist in Raleigh, NC or Cary, NC, ask them if they perform Real Ear Measurements. If they say no, or you don’t see them using the device (see picture) choose another provider who is committed to this standard of care. Your health is too important not to receive the best care!


Dr. Sarah Kate Fisher is the head Audiologist at Now Hear This® Clinic in Raleigh. She is Board certified in Audiology by the American Board of Audiology and is a Member of the American Academy of Audiology and a Member of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology.