How to Read an Audiogram

How to read an Audiogram and How to Understand Your hearing test results…what do they mean?

What is an Audiogram? An Audiogram is a graph that shows the persons hearing. It tells us the type and degree of hearing loss. The results of the hearing test are plotted on an audiogram. It has an X axis and a Y axis. Some important terms to know, to understand an audiogram: Frequency: The sound frequency or pitch (measured in Hertz) is plotted on the X (horizontal) axis. The frequencies commonly tested are 250Hz, 500Hz, 1 KHz, 2 KHz, 4 KHz, and 8 KHz. Intensity: The sound Intensity or loudness (measured in decibels) is plotted on the Y (vertical) axis. The intensities commonly plotted range from -10 or 0 to 120, in multiples of 10. The softest sound a person hears 50% of the times, at each frequency is his Hearing Threshold at that frequency. The Hearing Level (HL) is measured in Decibels.
At each frequency the person’s air conduction (AC) and bone conduction (BC) are tested. ‘O’ is used to denote air conduction for the right ear. ‘X’ is used to denote air conduction for the left ear. It is important to note that 0 dB does not mean that there is no sound at all. It is the softest sound that a person with normal hearing would be able to hear at least 50% of the times. Everyone does not have a perfect 0 dB HL thresholds at all frequencies. There is a normal range.

0dB to 20dB = Normal range
21dB to 40 dB = Mild hearing loss
41 dB to 55 dB = Moderate hearing loss
56 dB to 70 dB = Moderately Severe hearing loss
71 dB to 90 dB = Severe hearing loss
greater than 90 dB = Profound hearing loss.

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