Before a hearing test, you may have to endure several examinations to establish the type and severity of hearing loss you experience. The results are recorded in an audiogram, a standardized test that has become the primary industry standard for hearing loss assessments.
However, no two people have the same hearing profiles, so the accuracy of an audiogram is critical. Here’s all you need to know about these tests.
How Audiograms Work
An audiogram is a graph of hearing sensitivity across all sound ranges, from softest to loudest. It shows your ability to listen to sounds of different frequencies, starting with the lowest frequencies on the left and moving to the highest ones on the right.
The results of a hearing test based on an audiogram can be classified as having either a mild, moderate or severe hearing loss. In addition, audiograms are used to measure the effectiveness of hearing aid devices.
How Accurate Is an Audiogram
An audiogram is a good tool for determining the type and severity of hearing loss, but it has several limitations regarding the accuracy of hearing test results. One of the most common errors is when audiograms are interpreted as a snapshot view of a person’s hearing instead of how they hear day-to-day.
For example, if an audiogram shows that a person cannot hear sounds in a specific frequency range, it is assumed that this is how they have heard their entire lives. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes, people with hearing loss can hear sounds in this range under certain conditions, such as when there is a lot of outside noise or when other sounds are present.
However, these instances are taken into account when interpreting an audiogram. In situations when a single injury or illness causes hearing loss, audiograms are likely to be no more than 90 percent accurate.
The Importance of Hearing Test Accuracy
According to one study, 80 percent of hearing aid users experience some degree of dissatisfaction with their devices. This is largely because the devices do not actually fit the wearer’s hearing profile, which is always unique. This is where the importance of audiograms comes into play.
Although audiograms are useful in testing hearing, they are not the perfect solution. No formula on the planet can accurately predict how a person with hearing loss will respond to a hearing aid or any other device that amplifies sound. This is because it’s impossible to say how a person with hearing loss will respond to a hearing aid without actually trying it out.
Despite the limitations of audiograms, they are still an essential tool in diagnosing hearing loss since they are the best available means of assessing a person’s hearing. In the end, the most accurate audiogram is the one you get from your ears.
People with hearing loss should not rely on audiograms alone because it’s possible to hear better than the results show. An audiogram should be used to confirm that a hearing loss exists and establish the exact type and severity of the loss.
Hear More Associates are your most trusted hearing care specialists caring for patients throughout Lexington and Greater Boston, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. We’re the experts, but we’re on your side to help you make the most informed and intelligent decision, explaining everything and helping you make the right decision. If you’re looking for a hearing specialist in Massachusetts, we’ve got you covered. Get in touch with us today and let us know how we can help!