THRESHOLDS

In the audiology clinic, when testing is done with headphones, we call them ‘air conduction thresholds’ as the sound must travel through the air of the ear canal to be heard.

Alternatively, hearing can be tested using a bone conductor – a device that rests on the bone behind the ear (held in place by a metal band stretching over the top of the head). This bone conductor transmits sound vibrations through the bones of the skull directly to the cochlea. This process allows the audiologist to test the hearing of the inner ear directly.

Right ear Sounds heard in the right ear are marked in red. When headphones are used (air conduction thresholds), they are marked with an and when a bone conductor is used (bone conduction thresholds), they are marked with a [ or a triangle Δ.

Left ear Sounds heard in the left ear are marked in blue. When headphones are used (air conduction thresholds) they are marked with an and when a bone conductor is used (bone conduction thresholds), they are marked with a ] or triangle Δ.

Sometimes the graphs of the each ear are plotted on separate audiograms, sometimes they are plotted on the same audiogram.