What on earth is a speech banana,?" you may ask. It is the yellow portion of the image to the left. If you look at it, doesn't it look like a banana? We then color it yellow and voila, speech banana!
The image,as a whole, is called an audiogram. An audiogram is a pictorial representation of your hearing (or hearing loss). The numbers on the left side of the audiogram are measuring decibels(dB) or the loudness of a noise. The numbers along the top are measuring the hertz(Hz) or frequencies of a sound. For example, a telephone ringing is listed at 90 dB loud and it has a high frequency of 3,000 Hz. Low pitches are on the left of the chart and high pitches are on the right.
The speech banana then shows where speech sounds are produced-what level loudness and what pitch. We use this information to find out what speech sounds a person with hearing loss might be missing. If your hearing loss is less than the yellow banana, then you will hear and understand the speech sounds. If, however, your hearing loss is higher than the yellow speech banana, chances are you are not understanding speech sounds or words. This is a good piece of information,especially for children with hearing loss. If you go to the audiologist, they often will just put your hearing loss information on a blank audiogram. Ask for them to put it onto an audiogram with these pictures included. That will help you have a more realistic understanding of how your hearing is working.
Please comment below if you have used one like this before or if you have any questions.
Allison Schley has been in the field of deaf and hard of hearing education for 20 years. She founded a nonprofit for families with hearing loss. She most recently wrote a children's book, entitled Forever Friends. This book shows the how a deaf dog and deaf boy teach the world that all kids are good and being deaf is okay.