Interpreting audiograms


I am trying to better understand my 12 year old son’s audiogram. In particular the purpose of the “masked” measures and the “bone” measures are unclear. On my son’s audiogram, the masked and unmasked dB readings are virtually indentical. In addition, the air and bone readings are indistinguishable.

If anyone can briefly comment on the significance of the air vs. bone and the masked vs. unmasked, I’d greatly appreciate it.



My audiogram is in my signature line and just this morning was researching, trying to figure out what the speech discrimination numbers mean and the HL numbers.



Bone conduction tests bypass the middle ear to assist in determining neural vs. conductive loss. If the reading are very close, then the middle ear is likely functioning well and the loss is neural - not conductive.

I’m less familiar with masking but understand that it “hides” the tones in background noise to assist in determining auditory response in noise.



Since the bone conduction test uses the skeletal system, seperating left and right ear responses can be more difficult. Masking is a sound put in the opposite ear to sonically bury (mask!) any response you might get in that ear.

Take renovator at 2K for instance. There is a 30dB gap between the ears, If you were to do a bone test at 60dB on his left ear, he could very well hear it in his right ear if unmasked.



Some what of a newbie on these forums all though I have been wearing bte’s for about 6 years and still with my original Phonak Persoe. I am 55 year old male who is just about ready to upgrade, now that my daughters have left home and there is some money at the end of the month for myself! I cannot believe I did so little research and had so little understading of the issues before I bought them. I have for example only just obtained my audiogram results so I can work out how bad (or good) my hearing is.
I am presently researching the meaning of the figures and was very interested in the comments by zafdor as I have a fairly significant difference between L and R. I know when I had my last test I was giving spurious readings as I was effectively hearing with my left ear when my right was being tested. I am not quite sure how it was done but I think they put a bone conductive test on at the same time, presumably to drown the noise to my other ear.



Since the topic is so appropriate, I’ll just add to it rather than start a new thread. I see many comments, particularly from newbies about audiograms being “similar.” I think to many all ski slope audiograms look alike. Small differences can be quite significant. Where it starts dropping off is likely most important, but there’s a huge difference between having near normal hearing to 1000hz and to 2khz or 3khz.