The purpose of hearing testing is to quantify and qualify hearing in terms of the degree of hearing loss, the type of hearing loss and the configuration of the hearing loss. The results of the hearing tests are reported on a graph which is known as an audiogram.
The diagram below is a typical audiogram of a patient with high frequency hearing loss. Each ear is measured and plotted by using a sequence of varying sounds (frequency) and intensity (hearing level). Each sound is marked on the diagram with an X (left ear) or an O (right ear). The marks that fall below the speech banana (the shape in the middle of the audiogram) indicate that those sounds do not fall into the normal hearing category We know that those sounds in this example are not being heard and the only way they are heard is by increasing the intensity of the sound. This is very typical for patients with age related hearing loss (presbycusis) where certain sounds are harder to hear than other sounds, like “s”, “ch”, “th”, “f” and “sh”. For this example, hearing aids would be recommended to bring up the sounds that are missing in this frequency range.