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How is an Audiogram Done?

Of the 5 basic senses, hearing is perhaps the sweetest (nothing beats a favorite song or the voice of a loved one) and most important for communication. As such, hearing loss can have a significant impact on your quality of life. When hearing loss is suspected, an audiogram is performed to measure the amount and type of hearing loss in order to create a treatment plan. How is an audiogram done?

Audiograms are one of the easiest tests you’ll take…just show up for your appointment! No preparation is necessary. When you arrive for your audiogram, you will be taken to a quiet, soundproof room or booth. You’ll be asked to get comfortable so that you can sit still for the duration of the test. You’ll be given a pair of headphones that go over your ear, and the fit will be checked to ensure that the audiogram results are valid.

The person performing the audiogram, usually called a audiologist, will leave the room or booth to control the test from a computer. Depending on your hearing loss, you will be guided through 1-3 different series of tests.

  • Pure-tone audiograms measure the range of pitch and volume you can hear. Sounds will be played at various pitches and volumes in both ears. During the test, your job is to listen for these tones and raise the hand that corresponds with the side that you hear the tone on. Pure-tone audiograms map out a visual graph of the ranges that you can hear in comparison to normal hearing.
  • Speech audiograms check for the ability to clearly understand spoken words. Words will be read to you and you will be asked to repeat them back. The volume of these words will gradually decrease to screen for the threshold that you hear.
  • Tympanometry audiograms measure for physical abnormalities that interfere with hearing. Special ear plugs will be inserted into your ear canal to create variation in the pressure of the ear. Pressure changes are measured to determine the level of physical response you have.

Once your audiogram is complete, you and your doctor will discuss the results. Your doctor will help you interpret your score, which can show you how your hearing of pitch and volume compares to normal hearing levels. Based on the results, you and your doctor will create a treatment plan to address current hearing loss and prevent future negative impacts.

If you feel like your hearing has decreased in quality over time, consider scheduling an audiogram with one of our board certified doctors of audiology. To schedule an appointment, call (602) 956-1250.