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How is an Audiogram Done?

After visiting a doctor to address potential hearing loss, you’re told you need an audiogram. What happens next? What can you expect? How is an audiogram done?

Audiograms are straightforward, painless tests to check for hearing loss at different pitches (high and low sounds) and volumes (loud and quiet sounds). An audiogram paints a picture of your current hearing abilities, allowing you and your doctor to create a treatment plan to address both short and long-term goals. There is no preparation necessary beforehand. Simply show up for your audiogram appointment and you’re ready to go!

Your audiogram will be done in a soundproof room or booth to block out any noise interference. You will be seated with a pair of headphones connected to a machine. When the test begins, it is important to sit quietly in order to get accurate results.

During a pure-tone audiogram, various tones will be played through the headphones into one ear at a time. You will be directed to raise the hand that corresponds to the ear you hear a sound through every time you hear a sound. For example, if you hear a tone in your left ear, you will immediately raise your left hand to indicate that you heard it. Sounds will vary in pitch and volume, as well as which ear they are played through.

A speech audiogram tests for hearing levels of spoken word. Words will be played through your headphones as the volume gradually decreases. You will be asked to repeat back the words you hear to assess for hearing comprehension.

Another kind of audiogram is the tympanometry test. Instead of headphones, a soft plug will be inserted in your ear. The plug will simulate pressure changes in your ear to measure for physical responses in your ears.

The scores of your audiogram will be recorded and graphed to compare your hearing to “normal” hearing. Results can indicate the degree of hearing loss, as well as which ear or where in the ear. From there, your doctor will create a customized treatment plan to preserve or repair hearing function, and prevent further loss.

Do you suspect your hearing is declining? At Biltmore ENT, our doctors are ready to measure your hearing with an audiogram, and then make a personalized treatment plan. Call (602) 956-1250 or click “Appointment Request” on our website, to schedule an appointment.

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