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Understanding your hearing test results

Understanding your results can be tricky, but we've done our best to simplify and explain what they really mean.

An audiogram is a type of graph that displays the results of a hearing test. If you’re not used to reading graphs, or don’t understand the language used, then the results may appear quite overwhelming at first.

An audiogram shows your overall hearing ability by plotting your threshold for each frequency in a quiet listening environment. A hearing threshold is defined as the softest sound you’re able to detect 50% of the time.

The horizontal axis on an audiogram represents frequency (or pitch) from lowest to highest. The lowest frequency tested is usually around 250 Hertz and the highest is usually 8000 Hertz.

The vertical axis of the audiogram represents the intensity (or loudness) of sound which is measured in decibels (dB). Zero (or minus) decibels doesn’t actually mean the absence of sound, it represents the softest level of sound that the average person with normal hearing will hear for any given frequency.

Hearing loss is classified into 4 categories: mild, moderate, severe, or profound. The degree of hearing loss you may experience is based on how loud sounds need to be at each frequency level for you to be able to hear them.

Hearing loss in a range of -10 to 25 dB is classified as normal hearing. The following degrees of hearing loss are measured as:

  • Mild: 26 - 40dB

  • Moderate: 40 - 75dB

  • Severe:  75 - 90dB

  • Profound: 90db+

No matter what your hearing test results are, there’s still lots you can do to improve hearing health right now and prevent hearing loss from worsening.

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