Understanding Your Audiogram: How to Read Your Hearing Assessment Results
An audiogram is a special graph that shows the results of your hearing assessment. It tells us how well you can hear different sounds at different pitches and loudness levels. Let's break it down to make it easy to understand.
Pitch or Frequency
Notice the top of the graph runs as a horizontal line from left to right. Each point on this line represents a specific pitch or frequency in Hertz (Hz).
- Lower pitch sounds, like the rumble of thunder or a tuba, fall to the left side of the line.
- On the right side, you have the high pitches, like a bird chirping, a whistle, or ringing phone.
- The assessment will check how well you hear sounds at a variety of frequencies between 125 Hz to 8000 Hz.
Some audiograms may have a shaded area with letters in it. This is called the speech banana. It is where speech falls at normal conversational level on average. The letters are a basic representation of where the individual speech sounds fall. It varies from person to person but it can help you get an idea of how loud or soft different parts of speech are as well as what pitch they are. When you look at your results, anything above the red and blue lines of your thresholds would be too soft for you to hear. This way you can visualize what kinds of sounds you may struggle to hear with your level of hearing.
Loudness or Intensity
- Now, look to the left side of the audiogram and view the vertical line that runs from top to bottom. Each point on this line represents how loud a sound is, measured in decibels (dB).
- At the top of the chart, we have soft sounds, such as leaves rustling or someone whispering.
- Toward the bottom, we find louder sounds, like a lawnmower, airplane, or a concert.
After the Test
Reading Your Results
- We use a red "O" to mark what you hear in your right ear and a blue "X" for your left ear.
- If the "X"s and "O"s are at the top of the graph, that means your hearing is normal.
- If the "X"s and "O"s are lower down on the graph, it suggests there might be some hearing loss.
Remember, your audiogram is an essential tool that helps us understand your hearing abilities. If you have any questions about your results or need more information, don't hesitate to ask your hearing provider. They are here to support you on your hearing journey.