An audiogram is a graph of hearing. It is created by plotting the softest sound a child can hear for different frequencies or pitches of sound. The top or bottom of the chart measures frequency or pitches ranging from very low pitches, like thunder, to very high pitches, like birds. The sides of the audiogram measure intensity or loudness with very soft sounds, like whispers, at the top of the chart and very loud sounds, like a lawn mower, at the bottom of the chart.
Normal hearing for kids is between –10 and 15 dB. Decibels (dB) is a reference unit of measurement for sound. The further down the chart your child’s hearing is graphed, the more significant the hearing loss is.
On the chart, you may see symbols to represent hearing. Red, O’s, or triangles represent the right ear, while blue, X’s, or squares represent the left ear. These symbols are air conduction thresholds, or when the sound travels through the entire outer, middle, and inner ear.
There may also be symbols such as < and [ for the right ear and > and ] for the left ear. These represent the results of a bone conduction test, if one was completed. Bone conduction refers to sound vibrates through the skull directly to the inner ear.