May 30, 2010

Detailed Description Of My Deafness (Audiogram Included)

One question I am frequently asked is, "What can you hear? How do you hear?"

I noticed that in my blog, I have not gone into details about my deafness. I thought it would be interesting, to those who really want to know, for me to provide the most detailed description of my deafness that I possibly can.

Basically, I have moderately severe-profound sloping deafness in my left ear (moderately severe-severe in frequencies lower than 1000 Hz and profound deafness in 1000 Hz and higher) and moderate-severe deafness in my right ear only in the high frequencies (higher than 750 Hz). I have typical hearing in the lower frequencies, 250 Hz-750 Hz.

I can't hardly hear anything in my left ear (I can feel vibrations and hear low and loud booms). For example, I am unable to talk on the phone using my left ear. I have always talked on the phone using my right ear.

I can hear fairly well with my right ear except in the high frequencies; I have trouble hearing whispering, water running, certain high pitch tones, voices of children, everyday speech, etc.).

From my most recent audiological examination from 2006:

The results of that examination revealed her hearing on the right side fall within normal limits only to 750 Hz. Thereafter, there was a rapid decrease in thresholds to 1500 Hz, with stabilized thresholds in the moderate loss range to the higher frequencies. 
On the left side, there was a moderate to profound sloping sensorineural loss to 1000 Hz, with no recordable thresholds at the higher frequencies. 
Tympanograms were normal. 

My audiologist's informal analysis of my deafness was, "Wow! You weren't kidding! You really can't hear too well!" 
Here are my results graphed on an audiogram:

(The red markings symbolize my right ear, and the black markings symbolize my left ear)

*dB means decibel (loudness or intensity of sounds)
*Hz means Hertz (pitch or frequency of sounds)

Here is a blank audiogram with pictures: 


If there is anyone reading this who could perhaps explain my hearing loss a little better or in a clearer way (based on the audiogram), please feel free to email me or leave a comment.

I hope this gives you a better understanding of how I hear and how I can't hear.


*Useful audiogram information from


  1. Very interesting; thank you for sharing this. Next time I go to my audiologist's I'm going to ask for a copy of my audiogram. It is so interesting to see other people's!

  2. Megan,

    When you do get a copy of your audiogram, could you post it on your site? I would be interested in seeing other audiograms as well.


  3. I always have found people's audiograms interesting!! Since maybe a year or two ago I was then finally able to understand what audiograms actually meant since nobody had explained to me, a friend online explained and ever since I've been interested. I always look at the audiogram picture that you have included at the bottom of the post, it's useful to see what db things are actually are.

  4. I have a question, what does the pointing downwards arrows mean?

  5. I don't know. Does anyone know?


  6. This is such a great post!

    I need to dig up my son's audiogram. To get an idea look at (e's and think about all of the marks at the bottom. I was told with help (technology) he could hear enviromental sounds like a fire engine, maybe. His situation is very unique I am told. I would spend so much time looking for improvement. I would pray he could reach the "speech banana". Uh, that didn't happen.

    It is so important that people know hearing is very complicated. When my son was young I had to teach myself to read his audiogram. I never thought to teach him to read it. I am going to do that. Thanks Lissa.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. Love your blog. I use the familiar sounds audiogram to identify the speech sounds that a person cannot hear (usually for the better ear), and then use a visual to explain to people what can be heard without a hearing aid (and with one, too, if one has an aided audiogram).

    The visual I have used for many years is a paragraph from my son's favorite book at the time. I use Microsoft WORD's find/replace tool to search for all the ch, sh, th, p, h, g, k, f, s, and t (or whatever the relevant sounds are for that person's audiogram) and to replace them with __.

    This is what I got from the paragraph above, using your audiogram. It looks about right-leaves the vowels and a few consonants.

    Love your blo_. I u_e _e _amiliar _ound_ audio_ram _o iden_i_y _e __ee_ _ound_ _a_ a _er_on canno_ _ear (u_ually in _e be__er ear), and _en u_e a vi_ual _o ex_lain _o _eo_le w_a_ can be _eard wi_ou_ a _earin_ aid (and wi_ one, _oo, i_ one _a_ an aided audio_ram. _e vi_ual I _ave u_ed _or many year_ i_ a _ara_ra__ _rom my _on'_ _avori_e boo_ a_ _e _ime. I u_e Micro_o__ WORD'_ _ind/re_lace _ool _o _ear_ _or all _e _, _, _, _, _, _, _, _, _, and _ and _o re_lace _em wi_ __.

    I've used this with some staff who tell me a student can hear when he wants to --I hand them the altered paragraph and ask them to read it aloud. CLAW-TO-FIST-AT-THROAT :)

  8. Awesome! Thank you all for your comments. I would love to see my fellow bloggers' and readers' audiograms.

    Anonymous- That is a wonderful tool to use--the altered paragraph without all of the sounds one would have trouble hearing. Love it! That is a great idea! Yeah, let's see how well they can read it.
    The altered paragraph shows how important it is for me to lip read so I can catch all the soft sounds such as 'f','s','t', and etc. If a person turns away from me, or if I could not see a person's face, the altered paragraph is pretty close to what I may hear. So, a lot of guess work is involved. It's exhausting.



  9. I've heard of "ski slope" audiograms/hearing loss- this appears to be what they're describing! I think this type is pretty common, and they're even working on a hybrid CI (not saying you should get one, just found it interesting :P) for hearing losses similar to that of your right ear, or maybe a little bit worse. I'm not sure what the arrows mean either...

    I may have missed this, but do you know the cause of your hearing loss? Has it fluctuated over the years? Am I asking too many questions? ;)

    Last thing- the paragraph that anon wrote reminded of the Dry and Store Ad " o o an a e o e i o a a o e "
    ("Consonants are more important than vowels")I always thought it was a good ad :)

  10. The downward arrows mean there was no response at the limit of the audiometer's power.

  11. In addition, the arrows for bone conduction occur at lower dB levels than that for air conduction since the bone osscilator cannot produce as high of a dB level as the earphone.

  12. Here's something I did a while back


    here's my audiogram(from jan '10)

  13. All right, I finally got mine! It is here at:

    According to mine, the downward pointing arrow means "no response" but I don't know what that means on the graph.

  14. The audiogram is the best option to select a best suitable hearing aid for you and the one who is in need of the hearing aids because of some hearing loss or hearing impairment.

    Many people ignore the importance of the audiogram that how it can help us in picking up the best piece of the hearing aids.


Keep it civil.