An audiogram is a graph that shows the softest sounds a person can hear at different pitches or frequencies. The closer the marks are to the top of the graph, the softer the sounds that person can hear. Where the patient’s results fall on the audiogram indicate the different degrees of hearing loss. During a hearing test, sounds are presented in different ways. When testing with earphones or loudspeakers, the sounds go into the ear canal, through the middle ear to reach the inner ear. This is known as air conduction testing. Air conduction testing looks at how the whole hearing system responds to sound.
If air conduction testing shows a hearing loss, bone conduction testing is used. A device called a bone vibrator is placed behind the ear to send sounds directly to the inner ear.