Decoding Audiograms: The Science Behind Hearing Assessments

August 2, 2023

AdobeStock_158931290-1Hearing health is a crucial aspect of overall well-being, especially in the workplace. Audiograms are invaluable tools used in hearing assessments to evaluate an individual's hearing abilities. Understanding how audiograms work is essential for both employers and employees to promote a healthy and safe work environment. Let’s take a look at the science behind audiograms and shed light on how Lane Workforce Wellness utilizes them to support hearing health and safety.

What is an Audiogram?

An audiogram is a graph that illustrates an individual's hearing thresholds at different frequencies (pitches) and intensities (loudness levels). It provides a visual representation of the softest sounds a person can hear across the frequency spectrum, ranging from low-pitched sounds (bass) to high-pitched sounds (treble). Audiograms are conducted by trained professionals to assess an individual's hearing abilities and detect potential hearing loss or impairment.

Components of an Audiogram:

  1. Frequency: The horizontal axis of an audiogram represents different frequencies measured in Hertz (Hz). It ranges from low-frequency sounds (left side of the graph) to high-frequency sounds (right side of the graph). Each frequency represents a specific pitch, such as the rumble of thunder (low frequency) or the chirping of birds (high frequency).
  2. Intensity: The vertical axis of an audiogram measures sound intensity or loudness levels in decibels (dB). It ranges from soft sounds at the top of the graph to louder sounds at the bottom. The intensity scale provides information about the volume of sounds a person can hear, ranging from faint whispers to loud music or conversations.

Interpreting an Audiogram

Audiograms reveal an individual's hearing thresholds by plotting their responses to various sound frequencies and intensities. The hearing thresholds are represented by symbols or lines on the graph, indicating the softest sounds the person can detect at each frequency. The symbols include circles for the right ear and crosses for the left ear. The results are categorized into different degrees of hearing loss, such as normal, mild, moderate, severe, and profound.

Understanding Audiogram Results

Audiogram results help professionals and individuals understand the extent and nature of any hearing loss or impairment. The graph visually displays the frequencies and intensities at which hearing thresholds are affected. By interpreting the results, Lane Workforce Wellness professionals can identify potential causes and recommend appropriate interventions or accommodations to ensure a safe and supportive work environment.

Promoting Hearing Health

Through the use of audiograms, Lane Workforce Wellness encourages proactive hearing health and empowers individuals to take control of their well-being. Audiograms serve as a foundation for education and awareness initiatives, promoting safe listening practices, noise control measures, and the importance of regular hearing screenings. By prioritizing hearing health, employers demonstrate their commitment to the overall well-being of their workforce.

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