Real Ear Measurements, also known as Probe Microphone Measurements or REMs, are a GOLD STANDARD procedure used to verify frequency response and other performance characteristics of hearing devices. They ensure that hearing devices are set appropriately to provide optimal prescribed gain and output in users’ ears. The measurement is objective, which is obviously more reliable than subjective measurements like in-situ audiometry.
Currently in the United Kingdom, REMs are a recommended procedure (recommended by BSA and BAA) and therefore all users should be fitted with this measurement. However, we know that a lot of users do not get REMs at fitting, for a variety of reasons (equipment or technical difficulties, time constraints, lack of training or misunderstanding on the part of audiologists, as well as contraindications such as wax, patient discomfort, etc).
The measurement consists of a thin tube being placed in the ear canal, which acts like an extended microphone, and a specific sound being played. This records the specific sound pressure of the ear canal which is then matched to the hearing aid wearers audiometric data.
Studies have shown that using the Glasgow Hearing Aid Benefit Profile (GHABP) users not fitted using REMs had a greater decline in their satisfaction ratings one year later. The decline they experienced was significant and was some 18 percent. That is significantly different from the satisfaction ratings of the users’ fitted with REMs.