How to Understand the Results of Your Recent Hearing Test

side angle image of hearing specialist testing hearing of patient

When visiting your local hearing instrument specialist (HIS), there’s a high chance you’ll need to take a hearing test if you’ve been dealing with hearing or struggling with it for some time. While there are multiple types of tests that the patient can take, most test results will end up in the form of an audiogram.

This audiogram will look quite confusing at first glance as the patient will only see numbers, lines and circles. Understanding these hearing test results will help the patient stay well informed when it comes to making decisions on the next steps for treatments. So how can you better understand the results of your recent hearing tests? Continue reading on to find out how you can stay informed for the next steps with your HIS.

What is an Audiogram?

An audiogram is the hearing test results that are used to measure your hearing ability as well as the degree of your hearing loss. This shows the sounds that you can hear and the frequencies too. On an audiogram, the numbers that are shown are the sound frequencies, the higher the number, the higher the pitch. The left side of the audiogram is the units for the loudness, these are measured in decibels.

What Do the Lines and Circles Mean?

For most standard audiogram results, there may be a use of red circles, these are used to indicate the right ear results while blue crosses will be used for marking your left ear’s results. Each circle and cross will indicate the frequency levels tested as well as the volume that the patient can hear for that frequency.

What Are the Units for An Audiogram?

The units for an audiogram are measured through Hertz (Hz) and Decibels (dB). On a normal hearing test, the sounds 250 up to 8000 Hz are very quiet volume levels. In decibels, this would drop below 20dB. In these audiograms, the greater the drop means the more severe the hearing loss is.

Are there any other symbols in an audiogram?

You’ll see other symbols in your audiogram such as arrows and brackets. These tell you and your audiologist what hearing you have in your inner ears and hearing nerves.

What does the boomerang mean?

If you’re seeing a shaded boomerang shape on your audiogram, this shows the speech range that is usually the everyday conversations. These pitches and loudness are to help with understanding how one can have hearing loss but is still able to hear some sounds.

Your HIS will explain the test results to you and they will help you by answering any questions that you will have. It’s best to be prepared and have a solid understanding of these test results as this can help you ask some very vital questions for your next steps in seeking treatment. You need to be in control of your treatment process, so it’s important to come to terms with the possibility of having hearing loss and be prepared by understanding some of the potential results that the audiogram will show.