When visiting an audiologist for your hearing test, an array of examinations may be utilized to identify the type and level of hearing loss that you experience. An audiogram is then used to record and collate the results so that the right diagnosis and management strategy is vital.

Given that no two people have identical hearing profiles, it’s imperative that your hearing test delivers an accurate result. An audiogram is considered the industry’s gold standard but how reliable is it? Here’s all you need to know.

How Do Audiograms Work?

The term audiogram is one that’s commonly interchanged with hearing tests. However, the audiogram is actually a graph that is used to record the results of an individual’s hearing tests.

If you were to look at the graph after the completed hearing test, you would notice that it has a range of decibels displayed on the Y-axis with frequency shown on the X-axis. On the graph itself will be a series of blue crosses and red circles. These are the results of your test, with the crosses representing the left ear and circles indicating the right.

Each of the marks indicate a sound that the user cannot hear in the associated ear. When marks are found exclusively near the top of the chart, this signals a normal hearing range. As the marks work their way down the chart, they signal the gradual decline into slight, mild, moderate, severe and profound hearing loss.

At the end of a hearing test, the audiologist will explain all results in detail.

How Accurate Is an Audiogram?

An audiogram uses highly advanced and responsible technologies to plot the marks on the graph while it also has a clear distinction between the left ear and the right ear. As such, it is the most accurate way to identify and measure hearing loss. In fact, it is shown that the accuracy levels easily exceed 90% and are closer to the 95% mark. For individuals who have experienced hearing loss, the audiogram will be within five decibels of the exact level.

In addition to assessing hearing function and hearing loss with exceptional accuracy, they are used for pure tone testing and other hearing tests that are both quick and non-invasive. Moreover, the accuracy of the results means that fewer additional hearing examinations are required. This means that the entire process of completing a test and analyzing the results can be conducted in one appointment.

The accuracy of the results also enables the audiologist to explain the results and work with the patient to create a treatment plan in a clear and concise manner. For over one-third of people with detected hearing loss, hearing aids will form a significant feature.

Why Is Hearing Test Accuracy Important?

Whether it’s hearing aids or another solution designed to manage hearing loss, an accurate diagnosis is crucial. After all, it is the only way to ensure that any treatment is tailored to the patient’s individual needs. Likewise, it is essential for understanding the impact that a person’s hearing loss currently has on their life.

Normal hearing is when you can hear anything below 20bB. Mild hearing loss is determined to be anything between 21dB and 40dB but is unlikely to have any major impact on a person’s daily life as they can still follow conversations and even hear a whisper.

Moderate hearing loss is anything between 41dB and 55dB, which means some conversation will be lost as well as certain background noises. This is particularly noticeable when communicating with children and women due to the higher pitch. Severe hearing loss is deemed to be in the 71dB to 90dB range. The impact on daily life is very noticeable as you would not hear conversations, the TV or even a passing car.

Profound hearing loss is anything from 90dB above and would mean you hear very little without the assistance of hearing aids. Because the accuracy of an audiogram is within five decibels, even the inaccuracies are unlikely to cause any impact on your treatment as this level isn’t even close to the mild hearing loss threshold.

Choose the Right Audiologist

While an audiogram is the best and most accurate way to identify hearing loss, the best results can only be achieved when you visit the right audiologist. Otherwise, outdated tech and inadequate skills could lead to an inaccurate reading and poor treatment plan.

To book your audiogram hearing test in Saint Joseph, MO, call Quality Hearing & Audiology Center at 816-233-0022 today.