Understanding Your Audiogram

Your Hearing Test Results

When you have your hearing test, the first part of the hearing test is usually a test of your hearing sensitivity.  Different tones, from low-pitched to high-pitched are used to determine the softest level you are able to hear sounds.

The results of hearing tests are plotted on an audiogram.  The more you understand the audiogram, the more you will understand your own hearing loss and the particular hearing difficulties you experience.  (see video below)

As you look across the top of the audiogram from left to right – you’ll see the different pitches that were used in the test.  This ranges from the lowest pitch (250 Hertz) to the very highest pitched sound (8000 Hertz).

The loudness of the different sounds is shown along the left side (vertical) of the audiogram from 0 dB (decibels) at the top (the sound of a “pindrop”) – to the extremely loud 110 dB at the bottom of the graph.  The farther you go down the chart, the louder the sound had to be for you to hear it.

Symbols are used to record the sounds tested using “X” for the left ear results and “O” for the right ear results.  The results of the hearing test are categorized and described as normal, mild hearing loss, moderate hearing loss, severe hearing loss and profound hearing loss or “deaf”.  

The important thing is to understand how your own hearing loss relates to speech so that you understand your specific hearing problems.  Understanding your own audiogram is an important step toward understanding your hearing loss.