How to read an audiogram

✓ Evidence Based
Dolores Madden

Dolores Madden

Marketing Director at Hidden Hearing
Dolores Madden is Marketing Director for Hidden Hearing Ireland.

Dolores has been a leading figure in the hearing healthcare sector for the past 27 years, having first qualified as an accountant technician (MIATI) and then studying audiology and qualifying as an Audiologist (ISHAA, MSHAA) in 2002.

She has worked across all aspects of the business within Hidden Hearing, serving as Operations Manager for 4 years. For six years she was Branch Manager/Senior Audiologist for the Cork Branch, and Team Leader for six audiologists in the Southern Region.

A leading media commentator on hearing loss issues, Dolores Madden planned and implemented Hearing Awareness Week. Running since 2007, this annual event has significantly raised the issue of hearing loss on Ireland’s health agenda.

She also launched the Hidden Hearing Heroes awards scheme in 2011, a CSR initiative to recognise unsung heroes in communities across Ireland.

Find Out More About Dolores

Audiogram showing sounds and where they appear on the sound spectrum.

The audiogram is a graph of how someone hears.  Across the top are the frequencies, or pitches, of sounds, from low sounds to high sounds.  Down the side are measures of intensity, or loudness, of sounds, from soft sounds to loud sounds.  In the middle of the audiogram there is a part called the “Speech Banana.”  Most of the sounds of speech fall into that range of pitches and loudness.  Our goal is for the child to be able to hear in or above the Speech Banana with hearing aid(s), Baha, or cochlear implant(s) to have access to the sounds of speech.  In the speech banana, you can find the sounds a, u, i, sh, s, m, better known as the Ling Six Sounds.  These sounds span the length of the Speech Banana.  When someone responds (through a behavioral response or imitation) to a Ling Six Sound Check, we can be reasonably sure that they has access to all of the sounds of speech.

 

When a someone has an audiological exam, many things may take place.  The client may wear insert plugs, earphones, or listen to sounds played over speakers (called a “soundfield”) while sitting in an acoustically treated booth.  Tones will be played at various pitches and intensities.  The responses may be measured by various means for younger children and babies measurements will also be taken visually including:

  • Behavioral Observation Audiometry (BOA): measuring responses based on behavior (eye blinking, eye widening )
  • Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA): measuring the  responses based on a head turn to a screen or light-up box
  • Conditioned Play Audiometry (CPA): measuring the responses based on a conditioned play response (stacking rings, putting a block in a bucket, etc.)
Various measurements will be taken of the  hearing ability, and the results will be marked on the audiogram as follows:
Masking refers to playing “distraction noise” in the opposite ear while testing hearing loss.  It is often used when there is a large mismatch in hearing loss level between the ears, to prevent the ear with greater hearing from “helping” the opposite ear and distorting test results.
If you have any questions about sound, hearing or hearing loss contact Hidden Hearing.
Summary
How to read an audiogram
Article Name
How to read an audiogram
Description
The audiogram is a graph of how someone hears.
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Hidden Hearing
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Dolores Madden

About Dolores Madden

Dolores Madden is Marketing Director for Hidden Hearing Ireland. Dolores has been a leading figure in the hearing healthcare sector for the past 27 years, having first qualified as an accountant technician (MIATI) and then studying audiology and qualifying as an Audiologist (ISHAA, MSHAA) in 2002. She has worked across all aspects of the business within Hidden Hearing, serving as Operations Manager for 4 years. For six years she was Branch Manager/Senior Audiologist for the Cork Branch, and Team Leader for six audiologists in the Southern Region. A leading media commentator on hearing loss issues, Dolores Madden planned and implemented Hearing Awareness Week. Running since 2007, this annual event has significantly raised the issue of hearing loss on Ireland’s health agenda. She also launched the Hidden Hearing Heroes awards scheme in 2011, a CSR initiative to recognise unsung heroes in communities across Ireland. Find Out More About Dolores

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