Editor PicksHow To Read Army Hearing Test Results

How To Read Army Hearing Test Results


Disability Ratings And Va Benefits


The VA provides disability compensation for hearing loss and tinnitus.

The first thing a veteran needs to do is to establish that their hearing loss or tinnitus is connected to their service. Visit the VAs eligibility for benefits webpage to read more about how to start a claim.

For hearing loss and tinnitus, a veteran will need to know the basics of their condition:

  • Current diagnosis
  • Evidence of the service-related event that caused the condition
  • Medical opinion linking the event and hearing problems
  • The VA requires both a pure-tone and a Maryland CNC test for hearing loss. Depending on the results, the VA will assign a disability rating from 0 to 10 percent. You can read more about disability ratings from the VAs ratings guide.

    For tinnitus, the disability rating is 10 percent. Veterans with hearing loss and tinnitus can get separate ratings for each disability.

    Assessing Hearing And Marking Up The Audiogram

    So, whats with all the marks you usually see on this simple graph?

    Easy. Start at the top left corner of the graph, at the lowest frequency . Your hearing consultant will present you with a sound at this frequency by means of earphones, beginning with the smallest volume decibel level. If you can hear it at the lowest level , a mark is made at the crossroad of 125 Hz and 0 decibels. If you are not able to perceive the 125 Hz sound at 0 decibels, the sound will be presented again at the next loudest decibel level . If you can hear it at 10 decibels, a mark is made. If not, continue on to 15 decibels, and so on.

    This exact method is repeated for every frequency as the hearing specialist proceeds along the horizontal frequency line. A mark is produced at the lowest perceivable decibel level you can hear for every different sound frequency.

    Regarding the other symbols? If you observe two lines, one is for the left ear and one is for the right ear . An X is as a rule applied to mark the points for the left ear an O is employed for the right ear. You may see some other symbols, but these are less crucial for your basic understanding.

    What Does A Hearing Test Show

    Pure tone audiometry charts the hearing level of different tone frequencies in both ears. On an audiogram chart, red O’s indicate the right ear’s results and blue X’s the left ear’s results .

    Hearing loss is often described as follows:

    • Normal = less than 25 db HL
    • Mild = 25-40 db HL
    • Profound = more than 90 db HL

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    Do I Have High Or Low

    Frequency is the unit by which how high or low a sound is measured. Frequency is measured horizontally on the top of your hearing test. As the frequencies go from left to right they range from lower to higher.

    Example: If you read the audiogram from left to right, the final X is all the way at 8,000 hertz that means this person would have high-frequency loss. They can only hear above 80 decibels at 8,000 hertz. High-frequency loss makes it difficult to hear higher pitched sounds such as women and children. If the Xs and Os on your hearing test remain predominantly on the left side, you have low-frequency loss making lower pitched sounds more difficult to hear and understand.

    How To Read An Audiogram

    Hearing Self Test by Wayne Staab (HHM)

    Looking at the audiogram graph, you will see two axes:

    The horizontal axis represents frequency from lowest to highest. The lowest frequency tested is usually 250 Hertz , and the highest is usually 8000 Hz. You can think of the frequency axis like the keys on a piano where the sounds become higher pitched as you progress from left to right. Most speech falls into the 250 to 6000 Hz range, with the vowel sounds among the lowest frequencies and the consonants such as S, F, SH, CH, H, TH, T and K sounds among the highest frequencies.

    The vertical axis of the audiogram represents the intensity of sound in , with the lowest levels at the top of the graph. Although the top left of the chart is labeled -10 dB or 0 dB, that does not mean the absence of sound. Zero decibels actually represents the softest level of sound that the average person with normal hearing will hear, for any given frequency.

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    Degrees Of Hearing Loss

    A classification system for degrees of hearing loss, based on threshold hearing levels.

    The degree of hearing loss a person has can be characterized by how loud a sound has to be in order for the person to be able to hear it. For a person with normal, healthy hearing, the faintest sound that can be heard is 0 decibels, but for someone with a hearing loss,a sound must be louder than 0 dB before it can be heard. A hearing test can measure the softest sound that the person can detect. The higher a person’s hearing threshold, the higher the degree of hearing loss that person has.

    When measuring a person’s hearing level,a range of frequencies are used, and the hearing threshold at each frequencywill be determined for each ear. The resulting audiogramgives a detailed view of the nature of the hearing loss, which is essential in order to know what treatments may help. To arrive at a single number that is used as the overall threshold hearing level, only the better ear is used, and the threshold levels for that ear are averaged across the frequencies tested.

    Knowing the person’s overall threshold hearing level from the hearing test results, we can classify the degree of hearing loss, from slight to profound. There is no standard classification system that is universally used, but one system commonly used is the one recognized by the Hearing Loss Association of America:

    Degree of Hearing Loss Threshold Hearing Level Effect on Communication

    How Do The Test Results Show Difficulties With Speech

    Difficulties understanding conversations may be the first sign of hearing loss for many people. Your test results will give a very clear picture of just why you might be struggling with speech comprehension.

    Normal conversation is around 60dB but even moderate hearing loss may create some difficulties with understanding speech. High frequency hearing loss especially can cause problems with understanding conversation because many speech sounds such as S, H, and F are in the high frequency range.

    The harder consonants such as K and T are usually more clearly heard but background noise may make even these sounds hard for you to pick up at times.

    In addition to pure tone tests your audiologist will probably also carry out some speech testing or word recognition testing where you may hear spoken words through the headphones. Your results will be recorded in a separate box as a percentage based on how often a word needs to be repeated before you can understand it.

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    Pure Tone Audiometry And Audiograms

    Following development of the induction coil in 1849 and audio transducers in 1876, a variety of audiometers were invented in United States and overseas. These early audiometers were known as induction-coil audiometers due to…

    • Hughes 1879
    • Hartmann 1878

    In 1885, Arthur Hartmann designed an Auditory Chart which included left and right ear tuning fork representation on the x -axis and percent of hearing on the y-axis.

    In 1899, Carl E. Seashore Prof. of Psychology at U. Iowa, United States, introduced the audiometer as an instrument to measure the keenness of hearing whether in the laboratory, schoolroom, or office of the psychologist or aurist. The instrument operated on a battery and presented a tone or a click it had an attenuator set in a scale of 40 steps. His machine became the basis of the audiometers later manufactured at Western Electric.

    • Cordia C. Bunch 1919

    With further technologic advances, bone conduction testing capabilities became a standard component of all Western Electric audiometers by 1928.

    How To Read A Completed Audiogram

    Accurately Take an Online Hearing Test & Understand Audiogram Results

    A completed audiogram will have Xs and Os on it. Each X stands for your left ear. Each O stands for your right ear. Look at the audiogram to see where the Xs and Os line up with the decibel axis.

    • Normal-hearing people will have Xs and Os that don’t go above 20 decibels.
    • People with a mild hearing loss will have Xs and Os in the 20 to the 40-decibel range.
    • A moderate loss is 40 to 60 decibels.
    • Severe hearing loss falls in the 60 to 80-decibel range.
    • A profound hearing loss is anything greater than 80 decibels.

    Looking at the sample audiogram , it is obvious that the hearing loss is very profound, literally falling off the chart.

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    Hearing Loss And Veterans

    According to VA, more than 2.7 million veterans currently receive disability benefits for hearing loss or tinnitus however, the actual number may be even higher. That is, there may be additional veterans with hearing loss who are not receiving VA disability compensation.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that veterans are 30 percent more likely than non-veterans to have severe hearing impairment. Specifically, those who served after 9/11 are four times more likely to have hearing loss as compared to their civilian counterparts. Hearing loss can significantly impact veterans quality of life and daily functioning. It is important for veterans with hearing loss to receive a diagnosis and seek treatment from a health professional.

    Reports Of Audiometric Testing In Service Medical Records Of Military Veterans

    One of the tasks for this study was to review the service medical records of military veterans to examine the compliance by the military services with regulations requiring audiograms. This chapter describes and presents results from the study to evaluate service medical records for the presence of audiograms performed when service members entered and left active duty . The Army, Navy, and Marine Corps have required such testing for all service members since at least the early 1980s, but some audiometric testing was being done in all of the services as early as the 1940s.

    The specific language of the Statement of Task called for records to be examined for regulatory compliance regarding audiometric surveillance . Service members enrolled in a hearing conservation program are to receive reference, periodic, and termination audiograms at the beginning, annually, and at the end of their enrollment in the program. As noted in Chapter 5, only service members who meet certain noise-exposure criteria are placed in a hearing conservation program .

    Suggested Citation:Noise and Military Service: Implications for Hearing Loss and Tinnitus

    The study protocol was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the National Academies.

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    What Is Normal Hearing On An Audiogram

    Looking at the above audiogram, normal hearing ability is represented in the blue shaded area above the 25-dB line that crosses the graph from left to right. If your threshold symbols fall in the blue-shaded area, your hearing ability is considered within normal limits. Any symbols below that shaded area, however, indicate hearing loss at those frequencies.

    Your hearing care professional will classify the severity of your hearing loss, or degree of hearing loss, by where the symbols fall on the graph. Hearing loss is often classified as slight, mild, moderate, moderate-to-severe, severe or profound. They will also describe the pattern of your loss, generally as flat, sloping or rising.

    The space between the normal hearing area and your threshold symbols represents all of the sounds youre missing because of your hearing loss. The bigger the space, the more sounds youre not hearing. For most people with hearing loss, hearing aids can be a solution to bridge that gap and give you back the sounds youre missing.

    Defective 3m Combat Arms Earplugs

    Category Archive for " Hearing Loss Prevention"

    Because hearing loss and tinnitus are such prevalent problems for service members, the military provides standard-issue hearing protection, and earplugs are standard-issue across the services.

    3M provided its dual-ended Combat Arms Earplugs to several branches of the United States military from 2003 to 2015.

    But in 2018, a whistleblower complaint accused 3M of selling defective earplugs to the military and exposing unsuspecting soldiers to hearing damage. According to the complaint, millions of soldiers used the defective earplugs and thousands may have suffered hearing loss and tinnitus as a result.

    3M paid $9.1 million to the United States Department of Justice to resolve allegations, though they admitted no wrongdoing. Since then, hundreds of veterans have filed lawsuits against 3M.

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    Sensory And Psychodynamics Of Human Hearing

  • Pure tone audiometry is a standardized hearing test in which air conduction hearing thresholds in decibels for a set of fixed frequencies between 250 Hz and 8,000 Hz are plotted on an audiogram for each ear independently. A separate set of measurements is made for bone conduction. There is also high frequency Pure Tone Audiometry covering the frequency range above 8000 Hz to 16,000 Hz.
  • Threshold equalizing noise test
  • Masking level difference test
  • Psychoacoustic tuning curve test
  • Speech audiometry is a diagnostic hearing test designed to test word or speech recognition. It has become a fundamental tool in hearing-loss assessment. In conjunction with pure-tone audiometry, it can aid in determining the degree and type of hearing loss. Speech audiometry also provides information regarding discomfort or tolerance to speech stimuli and information on word recognition abilities. In addition, information gained by speech audiometry can help determine proper gain and maximum output of hearing aids and other amplifying devices for patients with significant hearing losses and help assess how well they hear in noise. Speech audiometry also facilitates audiological rehabilitation management.
  • Speech audiometry may include:

    Tympanogram: Interpreting Impedance Results

    Tympanometry is a test of middle ear functioning. It looks at the flexibility of the eardrum to changing air pressures, indicating how effectively sound is transmitted into the middle ear. This objective test also allows us to view the functioning of the Eustachian Tube, the upper auditory pathways and the reflex contraction from the middle ear muscles. Impedance testing is crucial in distinguishing a conductive loss from a sensorineural hearing loss. A typical tympanometry result indicates the ear canal volume , the max pressure and the peak compliance .

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    How To Receive Va Disability Benefits For Hearing Loss

    In order to receive VA disability benefits for hearing loss, veterans must prove to VA that their hearing loss is the result of their time in service. For direct service connection, they must establish the following three elements: a current diagnosis of hearing loss an in-service event that may have caused or contributed to their hearing loss and a medical opinion definitively linking the in-service event to their hearing loss.

    Are There Different Hearing Tests For Specific Military Jobs

    Breaking Down Your Hearing Test | Audiogram Review

    Yes, there are certain Military Occupational Specialties that require you to have better hearing than the basic guidelines of the Armed Forces.

    Consequently, it is possible to qualify for certain MOS and disqualify for others based on your hearing test score.

    Each military branch treats hearing and other physical impairments a little differently.

    You may receive a waiver but there is no guarantee.

    Highly selective and competitive military specialities like pilots, airborne, and special ops might make it a little more difficult to get in though its not as big of an issue compared to your vision.

    Pilots, for example, need outstanding vision with no color blindness.

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    What Do The Test Results Look Like

    Your audiologist will mark your hearing test results on a graph that will look something like this.

    The left axis indicates the intensity or volume of the test sounds that were played to you during the test going from softest at the top to loudest at the bottom. Its measured in decibels . As a general guide a whisper is around 30 dB whereas a snowmobile might measure around 135dB. You can check out how loud other sounds are here.

    The right axis marks the frequency or pitch of the sounds. This measurement of sound waves is measured in hertz or kilohertz and indicates the number of cycles per second. The name comes from the German scientist Heinrich Hertz who did pioneering research into electromagnetic waves in the 1880s.

    Normal hearing ranges from 20 Hz up to 20,000 Hz but the most sensitive hearing range for the average person lies between 2000 and 5000 Hz. Obviously, volume of sound also plays an important part in whether you can hear the sound or not so your hearing test results will measure a combination of both frequency and volume.

    During the test your audiologist will play pure tones at differing frequency and volume levels through headphones and plot your response to these on the graph. They will then compare your results against a standardised minimum audibility curve to analyse the degree and nature of your hearing loss.

    How To Read Hearing Test Results Army

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