Rethinking the Audiogram for Listening to Support Variety : The Listening to Magazine

Rethinking the Audiogram for Listening to Support Variety : The Listening to Magazine

The pure-tone audiogram is without doubt one of the key drivers within the audiologic evaluation, programming of amplification gadgets, and dimension of remedy results. In scientific follow, the pure-tone audiogram is a foundational part within the id of listening to loss, in addition to the stage, configuration, and form of listening to loss. Natural-tone effects are used to decide the kind and reaction traits of listening to aids and different technological remedies, and to exhibit listening to development with the usage of remedy gadgets.

Rethinking the Audiogram for Listening to Support Variety : The Listening to Magazine Audiogram, pure-tone audiogram, amplification, listening to aids.

Determine 1:

Audiogram of a 22-year-old complaining of bilateral tinnitus. Customary audiogram is noticed on left. Repeat audiogram the use of small frequency increments displays a 40 dB loss at 5,250 Hz, in step with the tinnitus. Audiogram, pure-tone audiogram, amplification, listening to aids.

Determine 2:

Effects comparability for 3 take a look at strategies. Audiogram, pure-tone audiogram, amplification, listening to aids.

Determine 3:

Natural-tone audiogram for the left ear of 1 matter. Increasing the frequencies examined unearths much better listening to at some frequencies than demonstrated via conventional trying out strategies. Frequencies of conventional trying out way indicated via blue line (Legacy). Audiogram, pure-tone audiogram, amplification, listening to aids.

Determine 4:

Natural-tone audiogram for the best of 1 matter. Increasing the frequencies examined unearths worse listening to at some frequencies as when put next with conventional trying out strategies. Frequencies of conventional trying out way indicated via blue line (Legacy). Audiogram, pure-tone audiogram, amplification, listening to aids.

Desk 1:

Trying out Strategies Comparability (n = 40).

In spite of the worldwide acceptance of the pure-tone audiogram as a foundation for audiologic and otologic care, a number of boundaries had been known. Within the e book “Medical Audiometry” via C.C. Bunch, the writer notes the foundation of the electrical audiometer. 1 He famous within the length prior to the advent of the audiometer, physicians used tuning forks to evaluate listening to. The incorporation of octave-interval gadgets used to music musical tools (therefore “tuning” forks) to evaluate listening to led audiometer producers to include those identical octave-interval frequencies into their gadgets. One might conclude that the frequencies utilized in recent pure-tone trying out, and at the audiogram, had been selected for consistency with the trying out paradigms of the time. Mentioned otherwise, the frequencies displayed at the abscissa of the audiogram are in keeping with the tuning forks used for musical tools, now not on a scientifically legitimate assemble associated with audition.

Every other limitation of the pure-tone audiogram is that the human auditory device is in a position to transducing frequencies from 20 Hz thru 20,000 Hz, but maximum audiograms are performed measuring simplest six discreet frequencies (octave durations from 250 thru 8,000 Hz), even though some exams might come with two or 3 further frequencies (e.g., 1,500, 3,000, or 6,000 Hz). Whilst the ones frequencies examined do span the variability the place listening to is essentially the most delicate, there may be considerable proof that assessing listening to past the everyday vary (i.e., prolonged excessive frequencies) supplies proof of listening to loss now not captured via the standard pure-tone audiogram. 2

The restricted selection of frequencies might produce an phantasm of the wear trend inside a cochlea and/or the auditory device. Drawing a line between two consecutive octave period thresholds on an audiogram creates the semblance that the corresponding cochlear injury between the ones two frequencies progresses in a predictable method. Those that’ve performed otoacoustic emission trying out, in particular when the use of a couple of issues in keeping with octave within the distortion product sort, understand a lot more abnormal patterns between octave frequencies. Due to this fact, the restricted selection of frequencies might serve to masks spaces of higher or lesser injury that happen between the octave durations. This point of view means that expanding the selection of frequencies examined inside the 250-8,000 Hz audiometric vary might disclose patterns of listening to loss that don’t seem to be obvious when the use of the standard six-frequency paradigm. An abnormal trend will have implications for listening to support variety, tinnitus evaluation, or remedy results.

Those boundaries can specific themselves clinically. As an example, spaces of loss that correspond to tinnitus will not be obvious the use of a restricted selection of octave-interval frequencies. Determine 1 displays a 22-year-old affected person with court cases of bilateral, consistent, high-pitched tonal tinnitus for 3 years. The affected person has a background in tune, essentially taking part in the piano and making a song in a church choir, however no different otologic audiologic historical past of any result. The affected person’s pure-tone audiogram was once standard bilaterally. Her tinnitus was once matched to roughly 5,500 Hz. The audiogram was once repeated the use of smaller frequency increments between 4,000 and eight,000 Hz. As may also be noticed, the affected person has a 40 dB loss at 5,250 Hz that was once now not known the use of conventional take a look at strategies. Each the take a look at effects and the affected person remedy choices had been modified because of the expanded frequency trying out.

This situation exemplifies the constraints of the standard take a look at paradigm. By means of extension, the usage of those identical frequencies might essentially restrict the result of remedies in keeping with pure-tone trying out. Inside the amplification area, is it imaginable that sufferers who bitch that listening to aids are “too cushy” or “too loud,” regardless of reaching frequency reaction curves that fit the natural tone-based goals, will have spaces of higher or worse listening to between the examined frequencies and thus give a contribution to those perceptual considerations? If this is the case, this is able to counsel every other limitation of the standard scientific remedy paradigm, principally {that a} restricted selection of pure-tone thresholds will not be enough to program listening to support frequency reaction traits.

It may be argued that the usage of natural tones as stimuli is abnormal in that natural tones don’t exist in the actual global and subsequently don’t supply proof of purposeful listening to capacity. Musiek et al. famous, “audiogram supplies the clinician with data relating to simplest listening to sensitivity” and the audiogram does now not “…supply any data in regards to the auditory processing of real-world indicators (i.e., speech, tune).” 3 Musiek et al. additionally mentioned, “The pure-tone audiogram is thought of as to provide restricted perception into purposeful listening to and is subsequently now not regarded as to give you the maximum ecologically legitimate data relating to auditory serve as in real-world settings.” 3


The usage of natural tones, and the frequencies most often assessed all the way through an audiologic take a look at, might impose boundaries that compromise each prognosis and remedy results. Those boundaries had been explored via trialing other paradigms for the take a look at stimuli and for the take a look at frequencies. Particularly, the standard pure-tone take a look at using octave period frequencies 125-8,000 Hz (Legacy take a look at) was once when put next with two computer-based methods. The primary extensively utilized natural tones however in 200 Hz-increments from 200-5,000 Hz (Expanded Legacy). The second one used a fancy tone that was once in keeping with fresh analysis contained in patents submitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Workplace (Patents 10893370 and 11115759) via Olah, et al. 4 and Olah. 5 This advanced tone integrated a number one tone plus harmonics to create a extra herbal sounding stimulus (Herbal). The Herbal take a look at stimuli had been synthesized the use of a SoundFont2 (SF2) MIDI virtual wavetable. This produced stimuli which can be nearer in sound to musical notes. The device selected the nearest word to every 200 Hz step. For instance, for 1,000 Hz, the B5 word (996.75 Hz) was once selected.

The 5,000 Hz restrict was once imposed on each those distinctive stimulus units as the next harmonics for a 5,000 Hz tone can be 10,000 Hz, 15,000 Hz, and many others. Those could be at frequencies or ranges undetectable via folks with listening to loss. As the higher restrict for Herbal stimulus was once restricted to five,000 Hz, the Expanded Legacy take a look at was once additionally restricted to five,000 Hz.

Twenty-one topics had been recruited to take part within the find out about and had been consented previous to participation. The find out about was once licensed via the Regional and Institutional Committee of Science and Analysis Ethics of Semmelweis College in Budapest, Hungary. A pool of 57 topics with pre-existing listening to loss had been drawn from the Audiology division database. Exclusion standards integrated considerably asymmetrical listening to loss that will require overlaying, conductive listening to losses, or comorbid prerequisites that may preclude finishing the take a look at. From this pool, 21 topics met all standards and had been invited to take part within the find out about.

Every matter was once examined in the similar manner and no randomization of the take a look at order was once undertaken. To begin with, every matter gained the standard pure-tone take a look at (Legacy Check) with thresholds established for octave period frequencies 125 Hz thru 8,000 Hz. Sufferers had been then allowed a 5- to 10-minute relaxation length prior to being examined with the Expanded Legacy take a look at process. This process established thresholds for frequencies 200 Hz thru 5,000 Hz in 200 Hz increments for a complete of 25 thresholds in keeping with ear. Topics had been then supplied with a longer relaxation length of 10-25 mins prior to being examined the use of the Herbal stimuli. Once more, frequencies of 200-5,000 Hz had been examined in 200 Hz increments for a complete of 25 thresholds in keeping with ear.


Determine 2 is a composite audiogram that displays a comparability of the 3 take a look at strategies. The entire patterns are an identical with the Legacy and Expanded Legacy effects matching for each stage and slope. Normally, the Herbal take a look at stimuli yielded effects that had been quite higher around the frequency vary.

Whilst the result of the 3 procedures are an identical, and the consequences for lots of sufferers fit throughout all 3 strategies, imply effects do conceal particular person variability. As the 3 take a look at strategies simplest correspond at 1,000, 2,000 and four,000 Hz, extra detailed comparisons of the consequences are proven in Desk 1. Extra variability may also be noticed even though the overwhelming majority (72%) of thresholds for those 3 frequencies for all sufferers had been inside +5 dB. As may well be anticipated, the correspondence between the 2 exams the use of natural tones (Legacy Check and the Expanded Legacy Check) was once upper (78%) than between the Legacy Check and the Herbal stimuli (65%). The range was once additionally famous to extend via frequency.

The usage of extra frequencies to create a extra outlined audiogram does illustrate the range that might exist between frequencies. As an example, Determine 3 displays the consequences for one affected person the place the pure-tone audiogram (Legacy) displays a standard sloping high-frequency loss. At conventional take a look at frequencies (Legacy) the result of the 3 take a look at paradigms are an identical despite the fact that now not similar. On the other hand, vital variability exists between the usual audiometric frequencies. Each the Expanded legacy and the Herbal stimuli display islands of higher listening to than can be gleaned from the standard audiogram. Those spaces of higher listening to will have vital implications for listening to support becoming and, therefore, for affected person delight with that becoming. Within the instance, Herbal stimuli probably demonstrates that listening to sensitivity could also be close to standard from 2,200 thru 3,000 Hz even if the pure-tone audiogram suggests a reasonable listening to loss at those identical frequencies. Conversely, Determine 4 displays spaces of reduced listening to between the standard audiometric frequencies. Failing to take those depressions within the audiometric curve into consideration might lead to below amplification for this affected person.

Topics had been requested for a subjective comparability of the pure-tone stimuli with the Herbal stimuli. 16 of the 20 topics indicated the Herbal stimuli was once both more uncomplicated to listen to or a extra herbal sound, two indicated no distinction and one affected person most well-liked the pure-tone stimulus.


The usage of natural tones to evaluate listening to has ancient, however now not essentially clinical, roots. Intuitively, the usage of natural tones to evaluate explicit loci within the cochlea is sensible. Detailed analysis of cochear serve as might undoubtedly is suitable for scientific measurements akin to the ones related to tracking a chemotherapeutic prompted listening to loss. Obviously increasing past 8,000 Hz to evaluate the prolonged excessive frequencies is proving to be treasured for figuring out the ones individuals with early onset ototoxicity. 6 On the other hand, the use of the similar procedures and stimuli to each assess auditory serve as and expand remedy processes would appear proscribing. Increasing past ancient views, and increasing pondering round present processes, supplies a chance to imagine tactics to enhance results and scientific efficiencies.

On this venture, the usage of an expanded pure-tone take a look at and extra naturally sounding stimuli had been assessed to decide if both procedure would possibly end up extra helpful as a precursor to listening to support programming. It will have to be famous that the aim of the venture was once to not follow those stimuli to the diagnostic evaluation of listening to. Result of this pilot venture exhibit that increasing the selection of frequencies supply higher element of auditory sensitivity. The usage of a extra naturally sounding stimulus ended in quite higher thresholds past 2,000 Hz. One unanswered query is whether or not the easier thresholds past 2,000 Hz are the results of higher skill to stumble on the extra advanced sounds, even if the harmonics are at differing frequencies and at decrease depth ranges. Mentioned otherwise, does the simplicity of the pure-tone take a look at overstate exact sensitivity to sound?

As famous within the advent, the usage of six or seven frequencies to explain listening to sensitivity around the vary of human listening to might create an phantasm as to the slope and/or configuration of auditory sensitivity inside a person. Programming amplification to this phantasm can lead to over- or underamplification at frequencies rather than the ones examined. As may well be surmised from the leads to Determine 3, offering 25-35 dB of amplification between 2,000 and three,000 Hz might end result within the belief of the listening to aids being “too loud.” Due to this fact, the usage of 25 frequencies to explain auditory sensitivity supplies a extra detailed profile of audition around the frequency vary.

The loss of natural tones in nature makes the usage of extra advanced sounds to evaluate listening to is sensible. Obviously advanced stimuli akin to speech regularly supplies a extra purposeful evaluation of efficiency than natural tones. The usage of quite extra advanced sounds, at the side of higher selection of frequencies, might end up to be helpful to evaluate listening to standing, and together with expanded frequencies, program listening to aids extra correctly.

Clinically, there could also be opposition to increasing the selection of frequencies merely because of the time issue. If the typical time to check each ears of an grownup is 20 mins the use of seven frequencies, it may well be assumed that 25 frequencies would possibly increase this time to 30-40 mins in keeping with ear. The true recorded take a look at time, then again, was once roughly 18-19 mins in keeping with ear. Even though that is longer, the tradeoff could also be in additional correct programming of listening to aids, leading to much less time spent making programming changes and less returns to enhance programming, thus probably decreasing the whole time spent with a affected person. Once more, the point of interest of this paradigm is to not counsel adjustments to the processes related to prognosis, and subsequently there’s no recommendation, right now, to increase the selection of frequencies or trade stimuli on this regard. On the other hand, for the ones sufferers who continue to the amplification level, undertaking an evaluation the use of extra frequencies and other stimuli could also be really helpful.

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1. Bunch CC Medical Audiometry CV Mosby Corporate St. Louis 1943

2. Hunter LL, Monson BB, Moore DR, et al. 2020 Prolonged excessive frequency listening to and speech belief implications in adults and kids Listening to Analysis ■ ■

3. Musiek F, Shinn J, Chermak G, Bamiou DE 2017 Views at the pure-tone audiogram Magazine of the American Academy of Audiolology 28 655 671

4. Olah L, Sokolovskii G, Losev S, Sokolovskaya E, Czifra P, Sebestyen G 2022 Device and Approach for Helping Listening to. U.S. Patent 10893370. U.S. Patent and Trademark Workplace. Retrieved from:

5. Olah L 2022 Device and Approach For Helping Listening to. U.S. Patent 11115759. U.S. Patent and Trademark Workplace. Retrieved from:

6. Grosnik A, Graham RT, Smiley NP, deBlank P, Hummel T, Mochizucki A, Raskin S, Windmill I 2022 Expanded protocols for listening to loss similar cisplatin-based remedy in youth most cancers sufferers Poster presentation World Symposium of Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Hamburg, Germany

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