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Massachusetts Eye and Ear
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Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery

Hearing Test (Audiogram)

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The gold standard test for hearing is known as an audiogram. It tests how well you hear. It can also help diagnose balance problems and other issues related to the function of the inner ear. Specialized doctors known as audiologists administer the test.

The results of an audiogram show the softest sound you can hear at different pitches (or frequencies). Your results are represented on a graph and on this graph, the closer the mark is to the top, the softer the sounds are you can hear – and the closer to “normal” hearing you might have. Your degree of hearing loss, if present, is determined by where the marks are plotted on the graph.

The audiogram can also help show the type of hearing loss you might have. This could be conductive (sounds having trouble getting to the inner ear), sensorineural (trouble in the inner ear or in the nerves to the brain) or mixed (both conductive and sensorineural). The type of hearing loss can impact what interventions and recommendations are best to help you hear better.

Other tests might be done during along with the audiogram, including the quietest level you can hear or understand speech, and how your hearing affects your ability to understand speech in quiet and/or noise.

Meet Our Team

Audiologists are licensed professionals with doctoral-level training who can perform the tests required to fully and accurately assess hearing loss and determine the best course of action for treatment and management. Seeing patients of all ages—from newborns to adults—they can help people with any kind of hearing problem stay connected to the people they love.

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