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Understanding Hearing Test Results


The audiogram is a graphical display of the hearing test results, with the graph indicating the softest sounds the patient can hear at various frequencies.

Note: Don’t worry if you do not fully understand the information written on this page. Our audiologists will take the time to explain your personal hearing test results to you in simple, understandable terms.



The audiogram is normalised to normal hearing level with the normal hearing limit between 0 to 25 dB HL. In addition, symbols ‘X’ and ‘O’ are often used to indicate the hearing thresholds for left and right ears respectively.

The severity of the hearing impairment is classified as follows:

  • Normal: 0 to 25 dB HL

    No significant hearing difficulty.

  • Mild: 25 to 40 dB HL

    Difficulty with soft speech but manages well with most situations.

  • Moderate: 40 to 55 dB HL

    Difficulty understanding speech, especially in noisy situations. TV and radio volume often have to be adjusted louder.

  • Moderate to Severe: 55 dB HL to 70 dB HL

    Clarity of speech is significantly affected. Speech needs to be louder and individual may have difficulty with group conversations and noisy situations.

  • Severe: 70 dB HL to 90 dB HL

    Normal conversational speech is inaudible. Speech understanding is poor even with increased volume.

  • Profound: above 90 dB HL

    Speech intelligibility is poor even with hearing aid amplification. Cochlear implants would be a better alternative.



With the speech letters super-imposed onto the audiogram (example as shown above), you can have a better understanding of the impact of various degrees of hearing impairment on an individual’s hearing ability.


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