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Understanding & Reading Your Audiogram
by: Stan Boston


After you have a hearing test, your hearing professional should show you a graph of how your hearing tested. This graph is called an Audiogram.

While many individual hearing offices make up a form of their own to use in marking your test results, there are some basics that are used quite frequently. Name and contact information are just a few of the things you will find on the form. However, probably the most important thing you will find on the form is the audiogram graph.

This graph has most of the information you will need to be fitted for a hearing aid properly.

There are two measurements used on an audiogram to gauge how you currently hear. These measurements are called Sound Frequency & Hearing Level:

The Sound Frequency is measured in Hertz, otherwise referred to as Hz. This measurement is across the top and is generally tested in the range of 250Hz to 8000Hz. Humans have been known to hear from 20Hz to 20,000Hz. The lower the number, the lower the sound. Example: A man's voice is going to be found farther to the left than a woman's voice. Generally, consonants are found further to the right than vowels.

The Hearing Level, or HL, is measured in Decibels, or db. The important thing to know about decibels is that if a sound increases by 10 decibels, it doubles in loudness as we perceive it. A 0 (Zero) is considered to be the optimum (or normal) level of hearing. Most people suffer some form of hearing loss though, even if it hasn't reached a point where a hearing aid or other device is needed. Sounds on the chart down to about 35db are considered soft sounds. From there to about 70db are considered to be moderate sounds. Above 70db is considered a loud sound.

The rest of this article, along with sample audiograms can found in the Hearing Information section of Discount Valley.

About the Author

Stan Boston is the general manager of Discount Valley Hearing Aid Supply.