How to Read an Audiogram

An audiogram gives a visual representation of a child's usable hearing.

During audiological testing, the audiologist will prepare a graph, called an audiogram, which gives a visual representation of a child’s usable hearing. The audiogram compares a child’s hearing with that of a person who hears normally.

audiogramSounds have a certain pitch or frequency. Frequency is measured by the number of waves or cycles that a sound makes in a single second. The scale that is used to measure cycles per second (cps) is called Hertzs (Hz). The degree of loudness or intensity is measured in units called decibels (dB). An audiogram is a visual representation of the usable hearing; it compares it with that of a person who hears normally.

The audiogram illustrated shows how this works and what it means. You can see that the pitch or frequency of the sounds is measured from left to right (low to high pitch) by numbers at the top of the grid. The loudness, or intensity, of the sounds is measured from soft at the top to loud at the bottom. These numbers run along the left and right sides of the grid. The audiologist will present sounds, one frequency at a time. The softest level of intensity at which a child responds to each frequency will be marked on the audiogram at that frequency and intensity.

The audiogram shown demonstrates different sounds and where they would be represented on an audiogram. The banana-shaped figure represents all the sounds that make up the human voice when speaking at normal conversational levels.

More Info and Related Links

What is an audiogram: My Baby’s Hearing
Printable version of a Teaching Audiogram

Illustration Source: Alan Mehr • American Academy of Audiology