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Understanding Your Audiogram

Understanding Your Audiogram

If you are worried that you might be experiencing hearing loss, then you should book an appointment with an audiologist. They will perform what is known as a hearing test. A hearing test will inform you of the extent of your hearing loss as well as the type of loss that you might be experiencing. It’s also worth having a hearing test if you have already been diagnosed with hearing loss and you think it is getting worse. This can be quite common. 

Once your hearing test is completed an audiogram will be generated. An audiogram is a collection of data presented in a graph. It provides all the information you need about the state of your hearing. An audiologist will explain the key details here, but we can run through the information. 

Why are there two lines?

This is the first piece of information that you will likely notice about the audiogram. There are two lines and these reflect the hearing for each of your ears. In most cases, the lines will be the same or similar. If that’s the case, then your hearing loss will be symmetrical. This means that the level of hearing loss is the same in both ears. However, it’s also possible that your hearing loss is asymmetrical.

This means that the level of hearing loss is different for each of your ears. This is significantly rare and is usually linked to hearing loss due to damage from exposure to loud noises. Hearing loss caused by age is typically going to be symmetrical. 

Frequency

Frequency is reflected horizontally on the graph and you can see it from reading left to right. You will either be diagnosed with low frequency hearing loss or high frequency hearing loss. If you have high frequency hearing loss, then you won’t be able to hear certain high-pitched noises. This will make it more difficult to hear both women and children speaking usually. You might also struggle to hear the whistle of a teapot and similar sounds. 

Low frequency means that you are going to have issues with sounds at low pitches. This might include deeper voices or significant levels of bass on a stereo. Your audiologist will explain exactly what type of noises that you might struggle to hear based on your results. 

Level of hearing loss

The audiogram will also show your level of hearing loss. This is measured vertically on the graph in decibels. You can tell how significant your hearing loss is by the position of the last O on the graph. If the last O is at 88 dBs this means that you won’t be able to hear any sound that is under this level. That could be anything from cars on the street to trains passing by. Of course, hearing loss could also be substantially lower which will mean you won’t be able to hear sounds such as birds chirping. This is a crucial record because it will tell you how significant your hearing loss is and how it will impact your life. 

Word recognition 

The last part of the audiogram reflects your level of word recognition. During the hearing test, you will be asked if you could hear and understand certain words being spoken. This was to measure the comprehension of words. The important thing to be aware of here is that the muscles used for this process is not the same as the one for general hearing. As such, it can be unrelated. It will be represented as a percentage. The level of comprehension will determine whether you are suitable for hearing aids. Each audiologist has their own threshold where they will not recommend hearing aids. You will need to discuss this with your audiologist. 

Be aware that word comprehension can gradually get worse the longer that hearing loss is left untreated. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you are taking the necessary steps to get the treatment you need sooner rather than later. It can guarantee that you don’t miss out on getting hearing aids that will benefit your life. 

Your audiologist will be able to help you proceed here and ensure that you are able to get the right hearing aids for you. 

We hope this helps you understand your audiogram and the key information you need to know. Your audiologist will be able to explain it further and for more information you can contact Awender Hearing at 815-656-4609 for expert advice and support.