Audiograms explained


What is an audiogram?

An audiogram is a graph that plots the results of a hearing test. During the hearing test, your loved one will be asked to respond to sounds. Every time they respond the result is recorded and plotted on the graph.

An Audiogram is used to help identify what level of hearing they have compared against normal hearing capabilities. It has the ability to show the level at which sound becomes uncomfortably loud for them. This is called the 'uncomfortable loudness level' (ULL).

How to read an audiogram

As an audiogram is a graph, it is used to make a comparison between the degree of hearing loss and which frequencies or pitch the hearing loss is at.

The frequency is on the horizontal axis, which is displayed in Hertz (Hz), where 250 Hz is a low pitch sound and 8000 Hz is a high pitch sound. The amount of hearing loss is shown on the vertical axis in decibels (dB), where the higher the number, the greater the degree of hearing loss. Thresholds from 0 to 20 dB are considered to be within normal hearing range for adults. Any results outside of these thresholds typically means that they maybe experiencing hearing difficulties. Your loved one may find some environments more challenging than others. The knowledge and expertise of our Audiologists can help and advise you as to what to do next.

The degree of loss is usually one of the following:

  • Mild:  thresholds between 20-39dB
    • They may experience difficulties following speech especially in noisy environments.
  • Moderate: 40-69dB
    • They may experience difficulties following speech and some quieter sounds.
  • Severe: 70-89dB
    • They may experience difficulties in understanding speech even when you’re in quiet environments. Day to day noises such as traffic become very difficult to hear.
  • Profound: 90dB+
    • The ability to hear most sounds becomes very challenging unless the sound is very loud

(The 100 dB point should not be confused with a 100% hearing loss)


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