picture of woman with low frequency hearing loss

What is Low Frequency Hearing Loss?

Low Frequency Hearing Loss

There are various types of hearing loss. Low frequency hearing loss is a rarer hearing loss condition that affects your ability to hear deeper or lower-pitched sounds. When you have this type of hearing loss, you have trouble hearing lower frequencies of 2,000Hz or lower. It is often referred to as “reverse-slope hearing loss” as the audiogram results for this type of hearing loss are shaped in a reverse slope. 

Depending on the severity, people may have a difficult time hearing men and bass sounds in music or thunder and hearing over the phone or in noisy environments. This type of hearing loss will mainly affect the volume of sound, so it can be helpful to have people speak louder unlike with high frequency hearing loss.

How Hearing Works

To register sound, there are several actions happening inside your ear. Sound travels through your ear canal and causes fluid in your ears to vibrate. These vibrations are picked up by hair-like sensory cells in your inner ear and are translated into electrical signals. These electrical signals are then picked up by the auditory nerve and are finally sent to the brain, where it’s processed as sound. 

Oftentimes, low frequency hearing loss is caused by sensorineural hearing loss. Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by damage to the hair cells in the inner ear. When damaged, the hair cells can not properly translate the vibrations into signals for the brain to process.

Causes of Low Frequency Hearing Loss

Diseases: Meniere’s disease can lead to hearing loss, tinnitus, and intense dizziness. It typically affects more people in their 40’s and 50’s. Most causes of low frequency hearing loss are connected to Meniere’s disease or otosclerosis. 

Noise Exposure: Repeated exposure to loud noise can damage our inner ear, resulting in noise-induced hearing loss and/or tinnitus, ringing in the ear. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), repeated exposure to noise above 85 decibels is dangerous and can lead to hearing loss. For your reference, 85 decibels is the sound of heavy city traffic or a lawnmower. 

Genetics: Genetics can also cause this type of hearing loss. Check your family history to see if you might be more at-risk for hearing loss.

Options For Addressing Low Frequency Hearing Loss

Hearing Aids: Low frequency hearing loss is a rare hearing loss condition, but many people use hearing aids to help them hear better. They can be effective for this type of hearing loss by amplifying lower-pitch sounds without amplifying higher-pitch sounds. There are several different types including completely-in-canal (CIC), in-the-ear (ITE), in-the-canal (ITC), behind-the-ear (BTE), and receiver-in-canal (RIC). Please consult your doctor or hearing professional for your best options for hearing aids.

Sound Therapy: AudioCardio is data and science backed mobile app that utilizes proprietary Threshold Sound Conditioning technology to deliver personalized “silent and barely audible” sound therapies designed to maintain and strengthen your hearing. More than 75% of participants in a Stanford study showed a significant impact on hearing.

Preventing Hearing Loss

It is important to be proactive in protecting and maintaining your hearing health. Loud noise exposure can be very damaging, so make sure that you are doing what you can to minimize risks for hearing loss such as wearing ear plugs at loud events and keeping volume levels at a safe level. Here are some of AudioCardio’s recommended high-fidelity earplugs for loud events. 

To conclude, low frequency hearing loss is when you can’t hear lower pitches or frequencies. If you suspect you might have hearing loss, please consult a doctor or hearing professional to take a hearing test and explore your options. 

AudioCardio is a technology company focused on hearing health and wellness. Learn how AudioCardio can help maintain and strengthen your hearing with your favorite headphones or hearing aids at www.audiocardio.com.

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Sources

https://www.hear-it.org/low-frequency-hearing-loss

https://www.healthyhearing.com/report/53038-What-is-low-frequency-reverse-slope-hearing-loss

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/presbycusis

https://www.healthyhearing.com/report/51183-Medications-that-contribute-to-hearing-loss



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