Hearing is Believing
From the results of an audiogram, audiologists can determine what type of hearing loss has occurred. There are two main types-conductive and sensorineural. Conductive hearing loss occurs when the outer or middle ear does not work properly. Sounds are "blocked" and do not make it all the way into the inner ear. Common causes are too much fluid in the middle ear or too much ear wax. Conductive hearing loss is usually treatable. Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when the inner ear or hearing nerve becomes damaged. This happens with aging or damage from loud noises.
The audiogram shown in Diagram A represents the charts of typical conductive and sensorineural hearing losses. The areas above the lines are sounds that the person would not hear.
Ranges have been established to standardize descriptions of hearing loss:
In groups of three complete the following task:
You are an audiologist and you have just finished evaluating an elderly gentleman's hearing. He is apprehensive that he's lost his hearing for good. These are his results:
Graph his audiogram with frequency (Hz) on the horizontal axis and loudness (dB) on the vertical axis. Based on your interpretations of this graph, answer the following questions: (Justify your answers!)
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Copyright 2013, Jon Mueller. Professor of Psychology, North Central College, Naperville, IL. Comments, questions or suggestions about this website should be sent to the author, Jon Mueller, at firstname.lastname@example.org.