Mind & Body
Mapping the Ear for a Customized Fit of Hearing Aids
6/1/2019 1:00:00 PM

Ear


The unique shape of one’s ear is a testament to a person’s individuality. In fact, the ear’s individualized arrangement of narrow openings, flat surfaces and sharply curved surfaces are a complex system that helps a person to communicate with the outside world. No two are exactly the same.


When fitting someone for a hearing aid, it’s crucial to obtain a tailored fit for the device to fit comfortably and correctly. Because of the way each ear is constructed, achieving a customized fit can be a challenge. 


"Thankfully, we now have an innovative way to customize hearing aids,” says Dr. Heidi Sorrells, with Acadian Hearing. "Otoscan 3D digital ear scanning system easily creates a map of the ear within minutes, giving us a detailed, dimensional map of each person’s ear.”


Acadian Hearing is the first and only hearing service in Southwest Louisiana offering the Otoscan 3D system. Dr. Sorrells, along with Dr. Juliana Marcantel and Dr. Bridget Garrido are experienced with the technology. All are doctors of audiology. 


The process is completely comfortable for the patient, with little or no contact with the actual ear. "We simply aim the laser into the ear and the camera captures the image of the ear. It creates algorithms to convert the image into data points and then it connects the data points together into a 3D image of the ear,” explains Dr. Juliana Marcantel. "It only takes a couple of minutes and then the 3D image is used to complete the order for the hearing aid. We can instantly submit it to the manufacturer for processing.”


Previous methods involved making a silicone impression of the ear shape, then using it to determine the best hearing aid for that patient. "The Otoscan system is much faster and can be done in one visit. In addition to providing a customized fit, it’s a safer and more efficient process,” Dr. Bridget Garrido says. 


Improving a patient’s hearing can be life changing, Dr. Sorrells adds. "Hearing loss can happen gradually, so by the time they come see us, it may have been years since they heard sounds properly. When they receive their tailored hearing aids, it opens the world to them again.”


For more information, call (337) 436-3277 or visit www.acadianhearingservices.com.

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