So, you recently got the results of your hearing tests back. You are eager to find out your results, but it looks like some sort of alien cipher. Luckily, it is not as difficult to read as it looks. Here are some tips on how to read and understand your audiogram.
There are two axes that you will see on your chart. One is horizontal. The horizontal bar represents lowest to highest frequency. The highest frequency is approximately 8000 Hz, while the lowest shown is around 125 to 250 Hz.
The other axis you will see is the vertical axis. This one represents sound intensity or loudness. It is also called the decibel level. Most noteworthy on your chart is the 0 decibels label on the upper left. This zero doesn’t mean the absence of sound. This is the lowest sound level that is detectable by human hearing.
In addition to two lines, you will probably notice symbols. First, remember that the blue and red represent different ears. Typically, the blue is your left ear. And, the red is your right ear.
A symbol on the chart represents the lowest decibel you can hear at any frequency. All the points connect once they are all plotted.
The type of symbols you see is dependent on the type of hearing tests you took. If you used headphones during your test, the symbol for those results would be a red “O” for the right ear. And, a blue “X” is for the left ear.
Conversely, if you used a device behind the ear during testing, the symbols will look like “[“ or a “<” and are still color coded. The red is for the right ear, and blue is for the left.
Finally, if you notice that your lines look like they overlap that means that your hearing loss is about the same in both ears. But, if there are divergences that means you have differing degrees of hearing loss in either ear.
These tips on how to read and understand your audiogram will demystify your test results a little more. Sometimes testing centers use different symbols, but the general layout will remain the same. And, if you have questions about your results speak with your doctor.