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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Understanding My Audiogram

One of my jobs at the library involves cataloging. The benefit of this work is getting a look at the new books before anyone else. Fortunately for me, a few months after my hearing exam, I received for cataloging Everyday Audiology: A Practical Guide for Health Care Professionals by Kazunari J. Koike. Although this book is intended for audiologists, I found the first section on audiograms very helpful.

You see when my audiologist showed me the results of my hearing tests, I didn't really understand much except to know that it wasn't good news. For anyone who doesn't know, an audiogram is a graph that shows how a person's hearing tested at different frequencies (shown along the top). The amount of hearing loss is shown in decibels (shown along the left side). The x represents the left ear and the circle is the right ear. You'll notice on mine that the left and right ears tested practically the same and as the frequencies get higher my hearing drops off.

Everyday Audiology explains what the decibel numbers mean and also what the effects are on communication for hearing loss from mild to profound. After reading the book I dug out my audiogram and marked it with what I had learned about my situation. You can see on my audiogram picture I have labeled the varying degrees of my hearing loss and also drawn on a horizontal line at the top which shows what normal hearing would look like. If you have any questions about your audiogram, check out this book. It can be requested by interlibrary loan at your local library.

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For the best explanation of audiograms I've seen online, check out Kim's post on the Say What Club Weblog: How to Read Your Audiogram.


Mog said...

briHi Sarah
Just looking at your audiogram and reading your posts on when you were diagnosed etc. I suppose that my hearing loss was picked up later on, or further down in the dBs as mine was gradual over a few years and I never realised that there were things I could no longer hear. I just thought that that was they way things were. It's easier I think when it creeps up on you.

Anonymous said...

Looking at your audiogram - I was wondering if it has stayed the same. It is similar to mine. What kind of hearing aids do you use? Thanks.

SpeakUp Librarian said...

Hi Anonymous,
Yes, I have been tested three times now and my hearing has remained the same.
My hearing aids are behind the ears and an open fit (which means they use tiny little tubes rather than an ear mold which fills the ear).

I knew nothing about hearing aids when I got them and just bought the pair my audiologist recommended.