If you’re experiencing hearing loss of any kind, it’s completely normal to want to get to the bottom of it sooner rather than later. One of the tools that’s used to help understand the extent of a person’s hearing loss is an audiogram. These help to display hearing test results. You’ll likely see one when you get your hearing tested for signs of hearing loss.
Some people are concerned about these tools and how accurate they are at displaying the quality of a person’s hearing and any hearing loss that might have occurred. That worry is for the most part a misguided one. Audiograms are important when you’re dealing with hearing problems and we’ll discuss them more below.
How does an audiogram measure hearing?
An audiogram is essentially a type of graph that shows us the softest sounds a person can hear at a variety of frequencies and pitches. In turn, this tells us the level of a person’s hearing and whether they’re experiencing hearing loss. There are different categories displayed on an audiogram that tell us within which parameters a person’s hearing falls. These refer to hearing loss and are mild, moderate, moderately severe, severe and profound.
When you look at an audiogram graph, you’ll see that the y-axis measures the hearing level in dB, HL and the x-axis displays the frequency of sound in Hz. When the results are plotted on the graph, it shows us the patient’s level of hearing and how severe or not their level of hearing loss is.
There are also two symbols to be aware of when looking at an audiogram. These are the O and X symbols. These simply represent the two ears that are tested. The O is the right ear and the X is the left ear. There are also various symbols used to display the pitch and volume of sounds that are being tested for, but these don’t need to be interpreted by the patient.
When you have a hearing test carried out, an audiologist will oversee all of this and explain the results to you, so you won’t need to have any kind of in-depth understanding of how to read these graphs and what all the different symbols mean.
How accurate are they?
The accuracy of audiograms is something that many people wonder about. On the whole, they are very accurate and this is generally something that people don’t need to be concerned about. Of course, there are various factors that can impact the reliability and accuracy of an audiogram and these should always be considered and considered.
For a start, you’ll want to make sure that your audiogram is carried out by someone who knows what they’re doing when it comes to carrying out these tests and interpreting the results. A top audiologist should be called upon.
Seeking treatment after an audiogram
After the test and audiogram have been completed, the next step will be to act and seek treatment. This is something you’ll be able to do alongside an audiologist and they’ll be able to guide you. Of course, the action that’s taken and the treatment used will depend upon the findings of the audiogram.
Getting a hearing aid might be an option that allows you to correct the hearing loss that you’ve been experiencing, and this is something that can change people’s lives in some cases. There are other options and treatments out there depending on your needs too though.
See an audiologist
To get the ball rolling and have the necessary tests carried out, you need to book an appointment with an audiologist. This should always be your first step when you’re dealing with hearing problems or symptoms that you have concerns about. They’ll be able to carry out the necessary testing for you.
Rather than going it alone and ignoring your symptoms, it’s always better to take action and seek the right solutions and treatments that’ll help you both now in your day to day life and going forward.
Audiograms are an important tool in finding out what’s happening with your hearing and what level of hearing loss you’re experiencing. They’re highly accurate and they help to gain a clearer picture of a patient’s condition. From there, the right treatment can be found to ensure the hearing loss you’re experiencing isn’t allowed to develop and get even worse. If you think you’re in need of an audiogram, book a consultation with us at the soonest opportunity. For further information on hearing test, contact a team member The Speech & Hearing Center at (423) 498-6999.