Live Speech Mapping has become the popular and successful approach to fitting today’s high tech hearing instruments. LSM utilizes actual speech as the input for measuring the Aided Response in real ear measurements. Speech provides an interesting and familiar stimulus for the patient and also provides the hearing instrument with the signal it requires. The key to a successful fitting using LSM is the ability to use the patient’s own dynamic range as the target: insuring that soft speech is audible, conversational speech is comfortable, and loud speech and sounds are tolerable.
Visible Speech Mapping or VSM utilizes actual live speech from family member(s), significant others, or the hearing professional as the input signal for “seeing the benefit” of hearing aids. In effect, it allows one to see what they hear in real time. VSM provides a dynamic presentation of exactly how much “speech” is reaching the patient’s eardrum. When measured in the unaided ear canal, VSM is used to counsel the patient and third party on the effect that hearing loss has on understanding speech (by showing how much speech is inaudible).
A better understanding of hearing loss usually makes it easier for the patient and the family to accept and commit to rehabilitative help. These instruments allow patients to “see” their hearing loss and also “see” how certain hearing aid designs can help restore hearing capability. In the end, the patient benefits greatly from getting a clear picture of what sounds they are missing.
When using the VSM, it is easy to perform tests to objectively access clients who report discomfort with their own voice. It has also been found to be effective in rapidly and accurately programming hearing instruments for fitting and troubleshooting.