Audiograms & Audiometry Explained

The role of audiometry and audiogram for hearing test

Audiometry is routinely performed by the audiologist or hearing care professional during your hearing assessment. There are two types of audiometry: the tonal that is used to measure your sensitivity to different types of sound to assess your level of hearing loss according to the frequencies; and the voice that evaluates your ability to understand speech.

Hearing test and audiometry

During your complimentary hearing assessment in an Amplifon clinic, the Audiologist/ Hearing care professional measures your sensitivity to different sound frequencies to obtain the curve of your hearing. This auditory examination is called tonal audiometry and the curve obtained at the end of this test is an audiogram. Depending on the result of your hearing test, our Audiologist/ Hearing care professional can assess your level of hearing loss. The audiogram shows your hearing threshold: you have normal hearing if your threshold is between 0 and 25 dB.

The Audiologist/ Hearing care professional also performs voice audiometry, which assesses speech comprehension.

What is an audiogram?

An audiogram is a graph that plots the results of your hearing test. During your hearing test, you will be asked to respond to sounds. Every time you respond the result is recorded and plotted on the graph. An Audiogram is used to help identify what level of hearing you have compared against normal hearing capabilities. It has the ability to show the level at which sound becomes uncomfortably loud for you. This is called the 'uncomfortable loudness level' (ULL).

How to read an audiogram?

The graph has two axes. 

  • The vertical axis represents decibel sound levels (dB) in descending order, typically between -10 and +120 dB. The lower your curve is at the bottom of the axis, the higher your level of hearing loss.
  • The horizontal axis is that of the frequencies. The sound frequencies are represented from the most serious to the most acute from left to right. For example, a motor noise will be located to the very left of the axis while the ringing of your phone will be to the right of the axis.

The result of an audiogram

During the hearing test, the hearing care professional measures the hearing ability of each of your ears. It obtains a curve per ear, usually represented by two distinct colors (red for example for the right ear and blue for your left ear.)

If most of your red and blue dots are below the 25 dB line, it means you have hearing loss. The loss can be on one of the ears or both ears, the colors represented on the audiogram will tell you.

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