Return To Blog

Understanding your Audiogram Results

November 20, 2015

Scheduling any new kind of medical appointment can be a little nerve-wracking. You have no idea what to expect and may not be familiar with the terminology or interpreting test results.
An audiogram is a visual representation of a hearing test. It is a graph that shows the softest sounds a person can hear at different frequencies and pitches. Although your audiologist will help break down your test results, let’s break down how understand your audiogram results.
What are the numbers and colors?
Audiograms graph frequency and intensity. Frequencies measure how high or low certain pitches are and read from left to right. Each vertical line represents a different frequency. Common frequencies tested during audiograms are 250, 500, 1000, 2000, 4000, and 8000 Hz. They go from left to right and range from lower to higher. Intensity is measured in decibels and shows how loud or soft each sound is. It is measured by horizontal lines with the softest sounds at the top of the chart and the loudest sounds on the bottom. The softest frequency tested is generally 0dB and the loudest is 120 dB.
You will also see blue and red lines charted on the graph. The red line represents your right ear and the blue line represents your left ear. You will also see x’s and o’s at each point of intersection. The x’s are your left ear and the o’s are your right ear.
What kind of hearing loss do I have?
There are two different types of hearing loss—asymmetrical hearing loss and symmetrical hearing loss. Asymmetrical is where each ear has a different level of hearing loss. It is a less common type of hearing loss, so make sure you have an ENT (ears, nose, and throat) doctor check out your ears prior to getting hearing aids to make sure there are no underlying issues that may need surgery. Most people with hearing loss have symmetrical. This is where both graphs look nearly identical, or at least follow the same pattern.
Let’s now look at an example to see what kind of hearing loss you might have in terms of frequency and intensity. If you are looking at your graph from left to right and the final “x” lies at 8000 hertz, that means you have high frequency hearing loss and have trouble hearing higher sounds. Low frequency loss is the opposite where you struggle to hear lower sounds.
In terms of decibels, as the number gets bigger, so does your hearing loss. If you are reading from left to right and the final “o” is around 65 bD, this means that you’ll have trouble hearing anything below 65 dB such as birds in the distance, whispered voices, etc.
What is the WRS?
WRS stands for word recognition score. It is represented through the little box that is beside or below your audiogram and measures your speech comprehension. This is what is happening during the part of the test where you audiologist has you repeat sentences and words back to them. Your brain processes speech and hearing separately, so it is important to measure comprehension.
If you are struggling to hear certain sounds or think you might need hearing aids, don’t hesitate to contact Resonance Hearing Aids to get information about how to schedule your audiogram today!