What is an audiogram?
Updated: Feb 21, 2020
An audiogram is a chart that displays information about your hearing sensitivity. The y-axis (shown vertically) represents loudness measured in decibels (dB) and the x-axis (shown horizontally) represents frequency measured in hertz (Hz). It shows your hearing thresholds for each of the frequencies tested. The decibels are listed from top to bottom starting with 0dB and stopping at 120dB. The frequency starts on the left side at 125Hz and goes up to 8000Hz.
Frequency or pitch
The audiogram’s x-axis represents frequency in Hertz (Hz). The lowest pitches start of the left side to the very highest frequencies on the right side. The range of frequencies tested are usually 250 Hz, 500 Hz, 1000 Hz, 2000 Hz, 4000 Hz and 8000 Hz, as these are the main frequencies for speech perception.
Examples of low frequency sounds in everyday life are: low rumbles, bass drum and vowel sounds.
Examples of high frequency sounds in everyday are: sizzles, bird chirping and consonant sounds
Loudness or intensity
The audiogram’s y-axis represents intensity of sound in units of decibels (dB). The top of the chart signifies soft sounds and the bottom of the chart signifies very loud sounds.
Examples of soft sounds in everyday life are: clock ticking or whispering.
Examples of loud sounds in everyday life are: lawnmower or car horn.
Normal conversational loudness level is between 40-60dB and whispering approximately 30dB.
The audiogram configuration may have:
Flat - equal hearing difficulty in low and high frequencies
Sloping down - better hearing in the low frequencies
Rising - better hearing in the high frequencies.
The configuration may show the same hearing difficulty for both ears or different hearing difficulty in each ear.