Oftentimes, when people develop hearing loss, they struggle to hear high-frequency sounds like higher-pitched voices or birds chirping. However, some people develop low-frequency hearing loss, meaning that they struggle with low-pitched sounds.
Let’s take a closer look at what low-frequency loss is, who gets it and what treatment options are available.
The Basics of Low-Frequency Hearing Loss
Low-frequency hearing loss is also often referred to as reverse-slope hearing loss because of how it shows up on an audiogram. Audiograms are charts or graphs which audiologists use to plot your hearing during a hearing test. People with low-frequency hearing loss will have results that reverse from low to high, whereas most cases of hearing loss go high to low.
Low-frequency hearing loss can range in severity from mild to profound and affects your ability to hear sounds such as:
- People with lower-pitched voices
- The rumbling cars, trucks or plane engines (You may be able to hear them, but they can sound tinny or otherwise distorted)
- The bass sounds like a tuba
- Vowel sounds, which are lower on average than consonant sounds
- Phone conversations
You may also find it easier to understand people when they stand very close to you, and you seem adept at picking up on higher-pitched noises that others cannot hear.
Who Is at Risk of Developing Low-Frequency Hearing Loss
As mentioned, low-frequency hearing loss is quite rare. However, researchers have found factors that may put you more at risk.
According to the National Library of Medicine, “Meniere’s disease, autoimmune-mediated inner ear disease, and steeply sloping hearing loss in the ipsilateral ear are risk factors” for developing low-frequency hearing loss.
Additional causes and risk factors can include:
- Genetic conditions
- Childhood illness
What Are the Treatment Options?
Because low-frequency hearing loss is rare, it can sometimes be harder to get a diagnosis, as symptoms don’t match up with traditional hearing loss. However, like with any hearing loss, it can make your life more difficult, and the sooner you receive the treatment you need, the better. If you find yourself struggling with low-pitched noises, whether at work, home or when spending time with friends at Seafolk Coffee, schedule an appointment for a hearing test.
A qualified audiologist will be able to interpret the results of your audiogram and help provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment with hearing aids that help you better detect low-frequency sounds.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment with an audiologist, contact Gary D. Schwartzberg Au.D. today.