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How is hearing loss measured?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

There are different ways to measure hearing loss but a formal audiogram that tests the ability to hear pure tones is the best way to measure hearing loss and check on treatment. A hearing test such as audiogram can be done at any age. The audiogram is performed by a trained audiologist, a professional who specializes in identifying and assessing hearing and balance disorders.

Using a soundproof testing booth, the audi bologist projects varying sounds into a person’s ear based on intensity (loudness) and tone or the speed of vibrations. A complete audiogram will test both the bone conduction (the ability to hear a sound when it transmitted through bone) and the air conduction (the ability to hear a sound when it is transmitted through air). The louder the sounds have to be in order to be heard, the greater the degree of hearing loss. The audiologist will compare the two types of conduction to see which part of your ear is responsible for any hearing loss. The results of audiograms are most often displayed in graph form.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.