How to Read an Audiogram

How to Read an Audiogram

The results of a hearing test are usually plotted on a graph, otherwise known as an audiogram. The size of these graphs can vary but there are two measurements to look for. First are the softest sounds heard, and second, the clarity of speech.

The horizontal part of the graph represents pitch or frequency. Consider it as the keyboard of a piano with bass sounds on the left and treble sounds on the right. Male voices tend to be low pitched while female voices and birds are higher in pitch.

Following the graph up and down or vertically, represents volume. Soft sounds are on the top of the graph and very loud sounds on the bottom. Volume is measured in decibels. 0 decibels is normal. 110 decibels is not.

An audiogram

The o's and x's represent right (o) and left (x) ears. You may also see carat (<>) marks or brackets ([ ]). All of these marks signify the softest sounds heard. There should be a key to explain this. When any of these symbols fall below 15-20 decibels, there will be recommendations for follow up or treatment.

On the audiogram there are boxes with numbers and percentages. The percentage is a measurement of clarity. It is obtained by repeating back words presented at a comfortable level. A perfect score is 100%.

We are always surprised that when we discuss findings, most patients tell us that no one ever took the time to explain their results. If you have questions about your evaluation, reach out to an Audiologist. We'll be happy to help.

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