What is an audiogram?
An audiogram is used by our audiologists to graph your or your child’s responses to sound during hearing tests. The audiogram is a visual way to show how well you or your child can hear. On an audiogram, levels of hearing are categorised by severity.
The general categories of hearing and hearing loss are as follows:
- Normal hearing: you can hear sounds at every pitch at a soft level.
- Mild hearing loss: you can hear most speech sounds from a close distance.
- Moderate hearing loss: you may hear louder sounds in speech.
- Severe hearing loss: you may hear loud environmental sounds.
- Profound hearing loss: you may hear extremely loud sounds.
The diagram below indicates where sounds are commonly heard on the audiogram. It includes the speech sounds, as well as a range of sounds in the environment.
Reading your audiogram
The numbers across the top indicate frequency (pitch, measured in ‘Hertz’), which increases from left to right, like keys on a piano. The numbers along the left side indicate the level of intensity of sound (volume, measured in decibels).
To measure your level of hearing, our audiologist will ask you or your child to respond to a series of tones. Your hearing threshold—the softest sound you can hear—is found by decreasing the volume until you can no longer hear the tones. The process is repeated for both ears across the entire frequency range.
Thresholds may be plotted for both ears as two separate lines on your audiogram. Circles indicate your right ear thresholds and crosses your left ear thresholds, as shown in the diagram below.
After your audiogram
If the audiogram results indicate severe to profound hearing loss, you or your child may be considered a candidate for a cochlear implant. Our expert team can work with you to access any services you or your child might need. The examples above show an simplified example of an audiogram. The results for your or your child can include additional detail and symbols which your audiologist or doctor can explain to you.