BATOD
The British Association of Teachers of the Deaf
Promoting Excellence in Deaf Education

"Audiometric Descriptors" Information Sheet, BATOD Magazine, updated December 2016

BATOD National Executive Council wishes to standardise definitions, descriptions and forms used for categorising audiometric descriptors using the following terms based primarily on current hearing threshold levels.

Audiometric descriptor dBHL

Mild hearing loss 21 - 40 dB (under BSA review)
Moderate hearing loss 41 - 70 dB
Severe hearing loss 71 - 95 dB
Profound hearing loss in excess of 95dB

Type of loss:
  • conductive
  • sensori-neural
  • mixed
qualified by (as appropriate)

bilateral, unilateral, symmetrical, high frequency, low frequency
Age of onset:
  • congenital
  • acquired - specify age
Further comment if appropriate
eg progressive, fluctuating, sudden, traumatic

For the purpose of this document these descriptors are based on the average hearing threshold levels at 250, 500, 1000, 2000, 4000 Hz in the better ear. If no response is obtained at any frequency due to severity of impairment, the reading should be given a value of 130 dBHL assuming an audiometer maximum output of 130 dB. Similarly any hearing threshold level better than 0 dBHL shall be given the value of 0 dBHL. Averages do not imply any particular configuration and additional qualifications can be made.

These descriptors and calculations are as recommended by the British Society of Audiology and endorsed by the British Association of Teachers of the Deaf.

References

British Society of Audiology (2011, amended 2012, 2015, 2016)

Recommended Procedure: Pure-tone air-conduction and bone-conduction threshold audiometry with and without masking, page 22; recommended format for audiogram forms, page 24.

British Society of Audiology ‘Recommended procedures’
is available for a small cost from:
BSA Secretariat
80 Brighton Road
Reading RG6 1PS

Audiogram format

It is recommended that the audiogram format approved by the British Society of Audiology (2016) (see above) on page 24 of the 'Recommended Procedure: Pure-tone air-conduction and bone-conduction threshold audiometry with and without masking is used and completed using the symbols shown'.