How to Read an Audiogram

How to Read an Audiogram

In Hearing Loss by Aaron Gingrich

Aaron Gingrich

Aaron is very active in several fraternal organizations, races radio control cars, enjoys shooting sports and gardening, but his favorite thing to do is help improve people's quality of life through better hearing. This has been his passion since the year 2000.
Aaron Gingrich

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Congratulations – you’ve scheduled a hearing test with us at Absolute Audio and now you’re preparing for the big day.

Getting a hearing test is the best way to tackle any issues you may have with your auditory health. The testing isn’t invasive or painful. It is also an opportunity to get to know our team at Absolute Audio and form an ongoing relationship. Establishing a relationship allows us to be open and honest about our needs and lifestyle practices. In turn, this enables our team to have better insight into your requirements and can create a treatment designed specifically for your hearing needs now and for the future.

Before you get to your appointment it would be best for you to familiarize yourself with some vocabulary and information that will enable you to question and communicate with our team with ease.

Hearing Loss Terms

  • dB – signifies the decibel which is a measurement of sound. The higher the decibel the louder the sound.

Example:

  • A normal conversation delivers approximately 60dB of sound.
  • Fireworks register at 150dB up to 175dB of sound.

The suggested dB range of exposure for people is set at 85dB.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website provides an infographic for your benefit, on the levels of noise from low to high – putting us at risk for noise-induced hearing loss.

  • Hz – signifies the hertz which is a measurement of the frequency or pitch of a sound.

Example:

  • A dog whistle is 23 kHz to 54kHz. Humans might hear a slight hiss.
  • A normal conversation can run from 250Hz to 6000Hz.

The range of the frequency in an audiometric test is from 20Hz to 8000 HZ and the higher the frequency the larger the number.

Now let’s get acquainted with one of the parts of a hearing exam that will give you insight into your hearing abilities.

Hearing Tests

Testing will include responses to both lowest and highest frequencies and loud and quiet sounds. Headphones are used for the air induction test which reads the threshold that your ear responds to when sounds reach your inner ear.

Results from your hearing tests are displayed in an audiogram, a visual representation of your hearing abilities in a graph format. It is read from left to right.

  • Decibels dB is displayed vertically on the left side of the graph.
  • Hertz Hz is displayed horizontally at the top of the graph.

The results from your hearing test will be analyzed by your hearing professional at Absolute Audio. While it’s not necessary for you to be able to read the results on the audiogram, you may be interested in how they are used to determine your hearing abilities. The description and information provided here give you a basic understanding.

What do the X’s and O’s on the graph mean?

There will be a blue line punctuated by X’s across the graph which indicates the reading of the left ear and a red line punctuated by O’s across the graph indicating the reading of the right ear.

The blue and red lines plotted on the graph charts your responses according to the hearing test. The X’s and O’s show the threshold we register for frequencies in tandem with decibels.

What can we learn looking at the blue and red lines?

The graph will also indicate areas that are “normal” hearing ranges as well as areas that indicate varying degrees of hearing “decline”.  Hearing loss is read at levels of mild to moderate to severe. If the plotted lines fall further away from the “normal” that would indicate hearing decline.

When the plotted lines show a consistent overlap then we have symmetrical hearing.

If the lines are far apart then we have asymmetrical hearing! If one ear has different hearing ability then the other, then this will affect the types of hearing aids you will require.

Once again, you can discuss this with your hearing specialist in greater detail and discuss the approach and options for your comprehensive treatment. A copy of the audiogram of your hearing will be given to you for your records. It will help to keep track of your hearing health and also will be convenient for any other treatments you might seek.

Absolute Audio

At Absolute Audio, we are well equipped and eager to help you on your road to better hearing. If you or someone you love is suffering from hearing decline do not lose another moment and give us a call. The best prevention is early detection and we are here to guide you according to your needs. We can start with your first appointment on the journey to better hearing health!