Know Your Hearing Ability with Audiometric Test
An audiogram is necessarily a graph that displays the results of your hearing test. Each time the subject responds to a sound, the audiologist records the response and plots it in the graph against the given frequency (this is basically when you think that you hear a sound). The final graph is used to identify the sound levels and frequencies that you have been able to respond to and the ones you were not. Compared to the audiogram of a normal person without any hearing difficulties, the audiologist will explain the sound levels that have been “uncomfortably loud” or just “inaudible”.
The audiogram is basically a graph that compares between the frequencies of sound presented to the subject and the degree of hearing loss. The frequency is measured along the horizontal X axis and displayed in Hz (Hertz). The lowest level plotted upon is 250 Hz (low pitch sound) and the highest is 8000 Hz (high pitch sound). Now, the vertical axis or the Y axis shows the amount of hearing loss and is measured in Decibels (dB HL). The greater the dB HL, the higher is the impairment. For adults, a threshold between 0 and 15 dB HL is considered normal. Any other result will mean the existence of some problem.
The hearing loss thresholds are further categorized into:
Mild hearing loss (26 – 40 dB HL)
Patients will find it difficult to hear soft sounds and undertones in noisy backgrounds
Moderate hearing loss (41 – 55 dB HL)
Difficult to follow speech with background noises
Severe hearing loss (71 – 90 dB HL)
Extremely difficult to follow conversations
Profound hearing loss (above 90 dB HL)
Hearing gets impossible without hearing aids
N.B. One should not confuse a 100 dB threshold with a 100% hearing loss.