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Monitoring Hearing Loss

It is important to know exactly what your child can hear, so audiometric testing will continue to be carried out during the secondary years. The quietest sounds your child can hear will be measured and recorded on an audiogram.


HIRB 09


The red circles represent the hearing level in the right ear. The blue crosses represent the hearing level in the left ear.

The loudness (dB) is recorded down the side of the audiogram and the frequencies used in speech recorded along the bottom. Usually five frequencies are tested - 250Hz, 500Hz, 1000 Hz, 2000Hz, 4000Hz. Broadly speaking the vowel sounds are produced in lower frequencies and the consonants on the higher frequencies.

The four categories of hearing impairment are:

  1. Slightly hearing impaired
    Losses between 20 - 40 dB
  2. Moderately hearing impaired
    Losses between 41 - 70 dB
  3. Severely hearing impaired
    Losses between 71 - 95 dB
  4. Profoundly hearing impaired
    Losses over 96 dB

The term 'hearing impaired' is used to cover the whole range of deafness.

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