An audiogram is a graphical representation of a person's hearing test results, which shows how well they can hear different frequencies or pitches of sounds. Here's how to read an audiogram:
Look at the X-axis: The horizontal axis of the audiogram shows the frequency of the sounds being tested, measured in Hertz (Hz). The frequency range tested typically starts at 250 Hz and goes up to 8,000 Hz or higher.
Look at the Y-axis: The vertical axis of the audiogram shows the intensity or loudness of the sounds being tested, measured in decibels (dB). The higher up the line on the audiogram, the louder the sound needs to be for the person to hear it.
Find the symbols: The audiogram will display symbols for each ear, usually circles or crosses, to represent the person's hearing thresholds for each frequency tested. A circle represents the right ear, while a cross represents the left ear.
Interpret the symbols: The position of the symbol on the audiogram shows the softest sound that the person can hear at each frequency. If the symbol is at the top of the graph, it means the person can hear the sound at a lower intensity, whereas if the symbol is at the bottom of the graph, it means the sound needs to be louder for the person to hear it.
Identify the type and degree of hearing loss: Based on the person's hearing thresholds, an audiologist can determine the type and degree of hearing loss. For example, a person with a hearing loss that affects only the high frequencies may have difficulty hearing speech sounds like "s" and "th," while a person with a severe hearing loss may struggle to hear even loud speech or environmental sounds.
It's important to note that an audiogram should only be interpreted by a qualified hearing healthcare professional, such as an audiologist or hearing instrument specialist, who can recommend appropriate treatment options based on the person's individual hearing needs.