Technical School

Understanding the Audiogram

It is important for you to understand what your child’s hearing test means. This will help you to know what your child can or can’t hear, but it will also let you evaluate how well your child uses hearing aids. The figure below shows you a graph the audiologist will give you after a hearing test. If you don’t get a a copy of the audiogram on a chart like this ( not all will have the pictures on them), ask your audiologist for it.


The figure has a variety of pictures to give you an idea of pitch and loudness of sounds. The frequencies at the top go from low pitches on the left to high pitches on the right (125Hz to 8000Hz) -- just like the keys on a piano keyboard. The loudness of sounds in decibels is shown on the left going from very soft (0dB) to very loud (120dB ) from top to bottom.

The audiologist tries to find out the softest sound your child can hear. So, when your child is in the booth, the audiologist will watch for your child to turn his/her head to a sound or alert to the sound if it is an infant. This type of test is called a behavioral test. When you see a symbol on the audiogram such as a circle, an x or an s, it means that this is the softest sound your child could hear. For example, if you see a circle at 90dB for 1000Hz, it means that your child can hear sounds louder than that, or below the 90dB mark on the chart. Your child cannot hear sounds above or lower than the 90dB mark on the chart.