When you get a hearing test, your results are plotted on a graph known as an audiogram. Audiograms are an effective tool for quantifying the degree of hearing loss and the type of hearing loss you have.
However, just like how you need to get your eyes rechecked every few years if you wear prescription lenses, updated audiograms are vital to maintaining your hearing health.
How Audiograms Measure Hearing Loss
Audiograms plot your hearing thresholds across various frequencies. The x-axis represents frequency in Hertz from lowest to highest, while the y-axis represents the loudness of a sound in decibels with the lowest levels at the top of the graph.
An adult is considered to have normal hearing ability if their test indicates they heard noise between 0-25 decibels across the frequency range. If your threshold dips below 25 decibels at any frequency, it indicates hearing loss.
When Is It Time for Another Hearing Test?
There are several factors that can play into your decision to get a new audiogram.
- How old is your hearing aid? If you’ve had your device for more than five years, it’s probably time for a checkup. Not only is it likely that your hearing aid may not be functioning as well as it did when you first got it, but there are likely technological updates in newer devices that you would benefit from.
- Has your health changed? Any new medical conditions may affect your ear health and hearing ability.
- Have you experienced big changes at work or at home? If you are working at a new office with different acoustics or have additional family members living with you, these changes may affect your hearing needs.
- Has your hearing gotten worse? This is probably the most important factor. If you notice that sounds seem weaker or you are missing parts of the conversation when you grab lunch with friends at Juli’s Coffee and Bistro, this may be a sign that your hearing needs have changed. A new audiogram can identify these changes and inform your audiologist on what adjustments or upgrades need to be made in order to improve your hearing experience.
If you have additional questions or wish to schedule an appointment with one of our hearing experts, contact Topeka ENT today.