The Audiogram (& Audiometry)
An audiogram is a graph illustrating the amount of hearing loss that an individual has in each ear. Along the horizontal, the numbers from 125 to 8000 are the frequencies, or different pitches of sound. Frequency is expressed in cycles per second, or Hertz. The higher the frequency, the higher the pitch of the sound, i.e. blue tits’ song is around 6000Hz. Loudness (shown on a scale on the vertical) is measured in decibels.
Conversational speech is around 65 dB, and a jet engine taking off very near you is about 120 dB. During the hearing test, the audiologist presents a single frequency at a time. The softest tone at which a person can hear that frequency is marked on the audiogram at that intensity. This is called the “hearing threshold” of that frequency.
Your audiogram is a “picture” of your hearing. It indicates how much your hearing varies from normal and, if there is a hearing loss, where the problem might be located. There are different types and degrees of hearing loss. Depending on the part of the ear that is affected, experts generally distinguish between four main types of hearing loss: conductive, sensori-neural hearing loss, mixed and neural hearing loss.