May 10, 2024

Understanding Your Audiogram

When undergoing a hearing test, the primary test is called audiometry and consists of listening to beeping sounds and indicating when the patient has heard the sound with a hand raise or pressing a button. When completing this portion of testing, the audiologist is looking for the softest sounds that the patient can just barely detect at various frequencies or pitches. The audiogram is the graph used to plot a person’s responses or hearing thresholds during the test and shows both pitch and volume. 

The audiogram is arranged with frequency along the x-axis from low to high pitch sounds left to right. The volume or intensity is on the y-axis and goes from low volume at the very top to high volume from the very bottom. The degrees of hearing loss are color coded.  

There are two primary symbols on the audiogram are O and X corresponding to the ear. O indicates the right ear and X indicates the left ear as shown below. Based on the graph, a person can hear any sound that is BELOW the line on their graph and is not able to hear sounds above the line. Low pitch tones are generally associated with the sensation of volume and vowel sounds whereas high pitch tones give the clarity of speech.  


After testing audiometry, the audiologists test speech understanding as well. The first is your Speech Reception Threshold or SRT, which measures the softest level of speech in which you can repeat words. The second is your Word Recognition Score. This is a percentage of how many words you repeated correctly at a comfortable volume. We use this to test optimal performance understanding speech WITHOUT the presence of noise. 


Both audiometry and speech understanding are reviewed in your appointment with us at JHBI by a provider. We consider both tests when determining if the patient would benefit from hearing aids or implantable devices.  

We like to repeat your hearing test once per year, sooner if you feel necessary, to monitor any changes in hearing and word understanding. If you think your hearing has changed, or think you would benefit from hearing aids, please give our office a call to schedule an appointment. 


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