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Understanding Your Audiogram Results

Written by OrkaAug 07, 2021 - 5 min read


You finally decided to take a hearing test.

You took the test. 

Got the results.

But, now you have these alien lines in front of you. What shall you do?

Audiogram is the graph you have in front of you. Hearing specialists use it to record your test responses. It is also crucial to help you decide what hearing aid is right for you. 

Here’s a simple guide on how to understand your audiogram results in less than a minute

The Audiogram shows the minimum volume at which a person can detect a tone played at a particular frequency.

Audiogram Interpretation:

The horizontal lines are always arranged from low to high and show the intensity of test frequencies. This is your ability to hear low (125–500 Hz), mid (750–2000 Hz), or high (3000–8000 Hz) pitch sounds. The vertical lines represent the intensity of the sounds. Hearing level (HL) in decibels (dB) refers to how soft or loud sounds are to a person. Zero (0) dB is considered to be the optimum level for hearing. Sometimes the audiogram has brackets “[” and “]” representing scores based on bone conduction tests.

When interpreting an audiogram it is crucial to be honest with yourself. A lot of people only look at the good news rather than understanding the whole story. Don’t misinterpret the results as they make a difference in your life.

Use the following characteristics of the audiogram to become an expert interpreter:

How audiologists play tic-tac-toe… (Xs and Os)

Every audiogram consists of X and O symbols charted on a graph. Xs (sometimes in little squares) represent left ear results, whilst Os represent right ear results. The scores are then compared to results obtained from people with normal hearing.

Audiogram Ranges:

The point of the audiogram is to determine where your ability to hear falls on the typical range of sound levels.

In most cases, the “normal” range will be from zero to twenty decibels on the vertical axis. Results falling outside of this range could be a sign that you are suffering from some degree of impairment.
Types of Hearing Loss:
Conductive — Normal hearing for bone conduction scores ([ & ]), and showing a hearing loss for Air Conduction scores (X & O)

Sensorineural — Equal hearing loss for both air and bone conduction

Mixed — Hearing loss for bone conduction, and an even greater hearing loss for air conduction
  • Flat loss — Hearing loss is relatively even across all frequencies. Common for conductive hearing losses.
  • Sloping loss — Hearing loss is increasing at higher frequencies. The most common age or noise damage related to hearing loss.
  • Less common audiogram shapes: reverse slopes, cookie bites, and corner audiogram.
  • Monaural loss: Loss only in one ear
  • Binaural loss: Loss in both ears

1 out of 3 people over 65 have some degree of hearing loss.

The Word Recognition Results

This is located in a box next to the audiogram graph. It represents your ability to understand speech.

Low sound frequencies (125 Hz — 1000 Hz) are responsible for a person’s interpretation of the volume of speech.

In contrast, high frequencies are responsible for the clarity of how we interpret speech. High frequency in speech is found in words containing sounds like “f”, “ph”, “th”, “s” and “t”. These sounds are difficult to hear if you have a high frequency loss. Most people with high frequency losses state the same: “My hearing is good, people just sound like they are mumbling.”

So what now?

Consult your doctor about your audiogram results. Keep in mind that your ear muscles atrophy the longer you go without hearing aids. And after some time, the damage becomes irreversible if you don’t take action.

It’s time to take action now!

Effective hearing aids improve the quality of life for people with hearing loss.

All content and information on this website is for informal and educational purposes only, nothing contained herein shall constitute medical advice, and does not establish any patient-client relationship by your use and access of this blog.
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