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How are hearing test results interpreted?

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Quick Answer

Hearing tests are rendered in an audiogram, which is a graphic that displays the results of the test with two main components being intensity and frequency, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Results for both ears are shown on an audiogram, which shows the softest sound that was audible to the person taking the test at a range of frequencies.

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Full Answer

Intensity during a hearing test is measured in decibels that relate how soft or loud a sound is. The horizontal lines on an audiogram depict various levels of intensity, with softer sounds shown toward the chart's top and louder one's toward its bottom. The loudest intensities are 120 decibels, while the softest are zero decibels.

Frequency is measured in hertz and ranges from high to low pitches and is depicted on the audiogram from left to right. A range of pitches from 250 to 8,000 hertz is typically used on hearing tests.

Hearing tests render results from normal hearing to profound hearing loss, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Normal hearing features a hearing threshold from 0 to 20 decibels, while mild hearing loss is characterized by a hearing threshold of 21 to 40 decibels. Moderate hearing loss features a hearing threshold of 41 to 55 decibels, while profound hearing loss is characterized by a hearing threshold of 91 decibels.

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