Learn About Audiogram Testing

What is an Audiogram?

An audiogram is a graph used to chart an individual’s hearing thresholds.  (See chart at right)  The X-axis represents the pitch of the tones evaluated in hertz (from low to high, left to right), the Y-axis represents the minimum volume a person can hear those pitches in decibels (db).  In a pure-tone hearing test, a line is plotted on the chart by the tester using O’s to represent the right ear and X’s to represent the left ear.   Separate graphs may be used to chart the thresholds of each ear but often both ears are charted on the same graph.

How is the Hearing Test Performed?

An audiogram is one of a number of hearing test results obtained to determine a person’s hearing acuity.  It is performed in a sound proof booth or room in an office or mobile unit.  The ear canals and eardrums will be viewed with a scope to rule out excessive earwax or other disorders prior to the test.  If the canal and eardrum appear normal, headphones or earplugs are placed on the ears of the individual and tones are played through them.  The individual is instructed to signal, either by pressing a button or raising a hand, when they hear the tone.  As the test progresses, these tones decrease in volume to determine the lowest volume they are heard by the individual .  This point is then marked on the graph for each ear at five or more pitches.

From 0 to 25db is considered normal hearing as indicate in the picture to the right.  Any point that falls further down the chart, below this area, is considered a hearing loss.  The greater the number of pitches that fall below normal hearing and the farther they are down the chart, the greater the degree of hearing loss a person is experiencing.  The sample audiogram at right indicates normal hearing in both ears at low pitches but the person needs hearing help in the high pitches.  An audiogram is needed by Resonance Hearing Aids to program your hearing aids to the specific amplification requirements you need at each pitch.

Other hearing tests, including speech testing, bone conduction testing and tympanometry are often performed if a comprehensive evaluation is needed.  Your testing professional will determine if additional tests are needed to rule out disorders in the ear.  

Learn more about the process of obtaining an audiogram and understanding your results. Call Resonance Hearing Aids to assist you today.