How to read your audiogram

The audiogram reads in frequency or pitch (measured in Hertz) across the top or horizontal axis and it reads in decibels or loudness (dB)  down the side or vertical axis. Just like the keyboard of a piano, the pitches are low on the left side (250Hz), and then gradually climb to higher pitches on the right side (8000Hz). The loudness scale goes from very soft sounds at the top (-10dB) to very loud sounds at the bottom (110 dB). It is important to remember that 0 dB does not mean that there is no sound at all. It is simply the softest sound that a person with normal hearing ability would be able to detect at least 50% of the time. Normal conversational speech is about 45 dB.

A hearing threshold is the softest sounds a person hears at each pitch at least 50%. Thresholds are obtained and marked for most of the pitches across the audiogram. An “O” is used for the right ear and an “X” is used for the left ear to represent the air thresholds.


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