What is an Audiogram?
Has music lost its range to you? Do you find yourself struggling to hear and participate in conversations? Have quiet sounds seemed to fade out of your life? Has your sense of balance disappeared? You may need an audiogram, but what exactly is an audiogram?
An audiogram is a quick, painless test performed by a trained audiologist to measure and visually map a person’s hearing capabilities. The test measures a range of volumes (how loud or soft a sound is) and pitches (how high or low a sound is) to pinpoint the way you hear. This is then mapped on a graph to compare your hearing to “normal” hearing.
Audiograms are performed in quiet rooms. Headphones will be placed on your ears, and then a series of tones will be played through them, sounding on each ear separately. The audiologist will ask you to raise your hand on the side you hear the sound, when you hear a sound.
Based on the results of the audiogram, severity of hearing loss in each ear is determined. The quieter the sound you can hear at each pitch, the less hearing loss you have. If your measurements show that you can only hear louder sounds at each pitch, the more hearing loss you have. An audiogram can identify the volume you hear at, as well as the range of pitches that register to your ears. Some people lose the ability to hear low, deep sounds, while others can’t hear high sounds.
Audiograms can also determine where in the ear hearing loss is occurring, whether it’s in the inner ear or the nerve pathways to the brain. Audiograms sometimes include tests for hearing speech or for understanding speech.
The results of an audiogram can be used to identify the type of hearing loss you suffer from, as well as to create a treatment plan to improve your hearing. For some people this can mean auditory training or hearing aids, while others who have more profound hearing loss may need surgical implants.
If you are concerned about hearing loss, having an audiogram is a good place to start. An audiogram gives your doctor information about your current hearing abilities so they can pinpoint an appropriate starting place for successful treatment.
If you’re worried about hearing loss, and ready to reclaim your hearing in a world full of beautiful sounds, our team of Doctors of Audiology are here for you. Call (602) 956-1250 or click “Appointment Request” on our website, BiltmoreENT.com to schedule an appointment.