Audiology Glossary: Common Terms and Definitions

When you or a loved one begins your journey towards better hearing health, it’s crucial to understand the terminology used in the field of audiology. 

In this guide, we’ll explain common audiology terms and their definitions to enhance your comprehension and ensure you can communicate effectively with your healthcare professional.

Common Audiology Terms and Their Definitions

Knowing these common audiology terms will help you understand your hearing health better and communicate more effectively with your healthcare professional. Here are common audiology terms and their definitions: 

Audiology: The science and study of hearing, balance, and associated disorders. Audiologists are healthcare professionals trained to diagnose, manage, and treat hearing or balance problems.

Audiogram: A graph that represents a person’s hearing ability. It illustrates the softest sounds a person can hear at different frequencies or pitches.

Decibel (dB): The unit used to measure the volume or intensity of a sound. Normal conversation usually occurs at about 60 dB.

Frequency: The pitch of a sound, measured in Hertz (Hz). The human ear can typically hear frequencies between 20 and 20,000 Hz.

Hearing Aid: A device designed to amplify sound for individuals with hearing loss. They come in various styles, including behind-the-ear (BTE), in-the-ear (ITE), and completely-in-canal (CIC).

Hearing Threshold: The softest sound that a person can hear at least 50% of the time. It is measured in decibels.

Otology: A branch of medicine that focuses on diseases and disorders of the ear.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss: A type of permanent hearing loss caused by damage to the inner ear or the nerve pathway from the inner ear to the brain.

Tinnitus: A ringing, buzzing, or hissing sound in the ears when no external sound is present. Tinnitus can be a symptom of several conditions, including hearing loss and ear injury.

Tympanogram: A test that measures the movement of the eardrum in response to changes in air pressure. It helps to identify any issues in the middle ear.

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The purpose of this hearing assessment and/or demonstration is for hearing wellness and to determine if the consumer may benefit from using hearing aids, which may include selling and fitting hearing aids. Products demonstrated may differ from products sold. Assessment conclusion is not a medical diagnosis and further testing may be required to diagnose hearing loss. The use of any hearing aid may not fully restore normal hearing and does not prevent future hearing loss. Hearing instruments may not meet the needs of all hearing-impaired individuals.