The most comfortable hearing experience available.

What are the Signs of Low-Frequency Hearing Loss?

a hand cupped to an ear

Hearing loss might be one of the most widely experienced physical disabilities in the world, but it’s a complex topic due to how many different types there are. Your audiologist will be able to help you diagnose, understand, prevent and treat most kinds of hearing loss. However, it’s still worth understanding the different types.

This time, we’re going to be looking at low-frequency hearing loss. We’re going to explore what it is, what causes it and most importantly, the signs of low-frequency hearing loss that you should be aware of. That way, you can spot the symptoms that should see you making an appointment with your audiologist.

What are the signs of low-frequency hearing loss?

One of the biggest issues revolving around low-frequency hearing loss is that it can be very hard to notice, at first. Many of the noises that we pay most attention to are at higher frequencies, so the gradual loss of hearing at lower-frequencies can take a long time to manifest as noticeable symptoms. 

People with low-frequency hearing loss are usually able to understand speech and participate in conversations as per usual. However, if this starts becoming more difficult in crowded settings or in environments with background noise, that can be a symptom worth investigating. Another symptom, and a good way to test it, is to play music and see if you have difficulty hearing the bass in the sound. 

People with low-frequency hearing loss may be able to understand people in person without too much difficulty, as mentioned. However, the lower and middle frequencies in speech tend to be pronounced when we’re on the phone. As such, if you have a lot more difficulty understanding people on the phone than in person, that could be another sign.

Similarly, people speak at different pitches. Women and children tend to speak at significantly higher frequencies than men. Most people with hearing loss may have difficulty understanding women and children, but the inverse can be true for people experiencing low-frequency hearing loss. You may have an easier time hearing women and children and more trouble hearing men. 

Lastly, there are some low-frequency background noises, such as the hum of a refrigerator or air conditioning unit, that you may not be able to hear. If you can hear the click of your refrigerator turning on and off, but not the hum of it operating, that’s a good indication you might have low-frequency hearing loss.

What is low-frequency hearing loss?

Hearing loss affects people at different frequencies, reducing their ability to hear noises of certain decibel levels at those frequencies. High-frequency hearing loss is the most common type around due to the way that the aging process changes the shape of the ears and how loud noises cause hearing cells to become damaged in the ear. This same kind of damage can lead to low-frequency hearing loss, though it is less common.

As such, low-frequency hearing loss is commonly referred to as a reverse slope audiogram. This is because people who experience it will have an audiogram that displays the inverse of the results usually expected from hearing loss. Instead of being able to hear better at lower frequencies and worse at higher frequencies, a reverse slope audiogram will show better results are higher frequencies.

What causes low-frequency hearing loss?

As is the case with high-frequency hearing loss, there a variety of issues that can lead to a person experiencing low-frequency hearing problems.  One of the unique causes that have been identified by researches is a mutation of the Wolfram Syndrome gene, which is also known as Wolfram Syndrome one. There are other causes of low-frequency hearing loss, however, such as Meniere’s disease, renal failure, viral infections and changes in pressure that cause a fistula and Mondini dysplasia.

Are you experiencing the signs of low-frequency hearing loss?

If one or more of the symptoms named above sounds familiar to you, then you might have undiagnosed low-frequency hearing loss. As such, it’s recommended that you get in touch with your audiologist as soon as possible. Not only can your audiologist diagnose the condition and help you better understand your range of hearing, but they can offer advice, recommending anything from prevention to treatment such as hearing aids depending on the severity and type of hearing loss.

To learn more about hearing loss, how it’s treated, or to arrange an appointment for a hearing test, call your audiologist at House of Hearing today. You can call us today at 801-221-1220 and whatever your query, we’ll be there to help.