how to interpret an audiogram from a hearing test

You’ve made an appointment with an ENT or Audiologist. They’ve just given you a hearing test. What do you do now? We’re going to walk you through how to read and understand your hearing loss from your audiogram.

Asymmetrical hearing loss is when each ear has a different level or type of hearing loss. Each ear is represented by a different line on the graph. If your graphs or lines look different, you have asymmetrical hearing loss. This is more unusual and signifies that the causes of the loss in each ear are different and therefore must be treated differently. When asymmetrical hearing loss exists, it is best to have your ears checked out by an ENT doctor to ensure that you are a candidate for hearing aids and that no surgery or treatment is needed. The sample graph above reflects an asymmetrical hearing loss as each ear has different levels of hearing loss.

Frequency is the unit by which how high or low a sound is measured. Frequency is measured horizontally on the top of your hearing test. As the frequencies go from left to right they range from lower to higher.

Example: If you read the audiogram from left to right, the final X is all the way at 8,000 hertz – that means this person would have high frequency loss. They can only hear above 80 decibels at 8,000 hertz. High Frequency loss makes it difficult to hear higher pitched sounds such as women and children. If the X’s and O’s on your hearing test remain predominantly on the left side, you have low frequency loss making lower pitched sounds more difficult to hear and understand.