If you’ve noticed that you’re struggling to hear conversations at the office or when you’re out eating with your family at PDX Sliders, it’s a good idea to schedule a hearing test.
When you get a hearing test your results will be displayed in a chart or graph known as an audiogram. Learning to interpret your results can help you better understand your hearing loss and guide your audiologist towards finding the best type of hearing aid for you.
What Does an Audiogram Measure?
Audiograms plot your hearing thresholds across a range of frequencies (pitches) in each ear. A hearing threshold refers to the softest sound you are able to hear about 50% of the time.
According to the National Library of Medicine, “audiograms are most useful for identifying deficits in hearing by looking at how sound travels through the auditory system via air conduction or bone conduction.”
How to Read an Audiogram
When you get your audiogram, you will see a horizontal (x) and a vertical (y) axis. The x-axis represents frequency in Hertz (Hz) from lowest to highest. The frequency range tested is usually 250-8,000 Hz.
The y-axis of the audiogram indicates the intensity or loudness of a sound in decibels (dB), with the lowest levels at the top of the graph.
An adult is classified as having normal hearing if their audiogram indicates they heard noises between 0 to 25 dB across the frequency range.
What are the Limitations of an Audiogram?
Audiograms are an excellent tool for detecting hearing loss. However, some people have what’s known as hidden hearing loss. In this case, they have problems hearing, but their audiogram will be normal. If your audiologist suspects hidden hearing loss, they will perform additional testing to confirm the diagnosis.
You Have Hearing Loss. What Now?
While it can be upsetting to find out you have hearing loss, the earlier you are diagnosed the more success you will likely have with hearing aid treatment. You and your audiologist will work together to find a pair customized to meet your hearing needs and work with your lifestyle.
If you’re concerned about your hearing, take control of your health and call Mt. Hood ENT & Allergy today to schedule an appointment.