What is an audiogram?

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, an audiogram is “a graph that shows the softest sounds a person can hear at different pitches or frequencies.” An audiogram can be constructed to illustrate a child’s range of hearing and help determine his or her level of hearing loss, if present. Levels range from “normal” to “profound” and include several intermediary degrees, such as “severe” and “moderate.” A child with severe hearing loss, for example, can likely only hear extremely loud sounds like a police siren. Audiograms typically include keys similar to those on a map to help identify the meaning of symbols. The NIDOCD suggests that “O”s represent right-ear responses while “X”s represent left-ear responses. Marks closer to the top of the graph indicate softer sounds heard.

One important use of an audiogram is to determine a person’s ability to hear conversation. Speech sounds vary in pitch and loudness, and an audiogram shows a person’s ability in relation to the frequency of average speech. The NIDOCD cites as an example the sounds of “s” and “o.” The “s” sound is higher in pitch and quieter, while the “o” sound is lower and louder. To learn more about the benefits of audiograms, schedule an appointment with an audiologist on your True Care Advantage hearing care plan. Your membership allows you to receive special discounts; call today to find out how much you could save.


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