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The Hearing Number

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has recently developed a very easy way for people to understand and talk about your hearing capabilities.

The HEARING NUMBER is a calculation using your audiogram that develops a numerical number that reflects how loud speech typically must be for someone to hear it.

Calculating your HEARING NUMBER is very easy, and if you would like to know how to do it, keep reading!

Step 1: Find your last Audiogram

Find the last audiogram you received at your last visit.

If you do not have a copy of your last audiogram, call the office and we can send a copy to you…call 888-734-3880.

Step 2: Write down your measurements

Your audiogram should look something like this:

Your audiogram is a graph. Across the top is frequency (Hz). Down the side is decibels (dB). The different colored lines are the measurements for each ear. Your audiogram should indicate which line is which ear.

Find where the colored line for each ear intersects with the vertical (frequency) lines numbered 500, 1K, 2K, and 4k.

Write down the numbers of horizontal (decibels) line that are intersected.

For example, in the image above, the Blue Ear (blue line) measurements are:

  • 500 Hz = 20
  • 1K Hz = 30
  • 2k Hz= 50
  • 4k Hz = 60

Write down the measurements for each ear separately because you will be calculating the Hearing Number for each ear individually.

Step 3: Add & Divide

Add the numbers for each ear. 

In our example, the Blue Ear is 20+30+50+60 = 160.

Then divide by 4 and round to the nearest whole number.

In our example, this would mean the Hearing Number for the Blue Ear is 40.

We then do the same calculations for the Red Ear and find that the Hearing Number for the Red Ear is 61.

Step 4: Compare Your Numbers

Now you can compare the Hearing Number for each ear to this list to see how severe your hearing loss is.

  • Mild is a Hearing Number of 20 to 34
  • Moderate is a Hearing Number of 34 to 49
  • Moderately severe is a Hearing Number of 50 to 64
  • Severe is a Hearing Number of 65 to 79

In our example, the Blue Ear has Moderate hearing loss (Hearing Number of 40). The Red Ear has Moderately Severe hearing loss (Hearing Number of 61)

Step 5: How To Use Your Hearing Number

You can use your Hearing Number to understand how your hearing changes over time. This helps you know when to use communication strategies or technologies to help you hear better.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us at 888-734-3880