What are the Signs of Low-Frequency Hearing Loss?

a woman touching a hand to her ear

Hearing loss is a very common condition that means that you are not hearing things as loudly or sharply as you used to and certain sounds may not be at all possible for you to process. The types of frequencies that we hear may be louder to some than to others, and everyone is different. 

However, low-frequency hearing loss is where you cannot hear sounds that occur in the lower end of the frequencies, such as 2,000 Hz or lower and is a relatively uncommon type of hearing loss. It may also be referred to as infrasound and hearing can quite easily become less sensitive to this frequency with age or damage over time. If you wish to hear low-frequency sounds, the sound pressure would have to be high in order to process it. 

Some types of low-frequency sounds are sounds such as a bass drum, thunder claps or a very deep man’s voice are low-frequency sounds, they are generally known as low pitch. This type of hearing loss is referred to as sensorineural hearing loss and is relatively common. The causes of this are often connected to some type of damage with the cochlear, but can be connected to other types of conditions such as Mondini dysplasia or Meniere’s disease, including viral infections or renal failure so it is important to rule out any other conditions first or be aware of the cause of your hearing loss. 

What are the signs that I should look out for?

As with any type of hearing loss, you will first notice that you are unable to catch certain sounds as well as you could before, or as well as others. This type of hearing loss affects the frequencies 2000 Hz and below, deeper pitches. It may be referred to as a “reverse slope audiogram” because the overall hearing is not fully affected, but only the sounds in lower frequencies, most likely the higher frequencies are just fine, if not crisper to you. 

Here are some of the first likely symptoms and progressive symptoms you may experience: 

  • An inability to understand certain male voices, but find it easier to listen to female voices. 
  • You may struggle on the phone more so than face-to-face conversations. 
  • You may hear cars, trucks and airplanes less rumbly than others or not pick up on what it is fully.
  • Certain music may sound tinny, especially if it involves certain bass instruments. 
  • You may find that you can crisply hear high-pitched sounds that others may not notice.
  • You may need people to stand a little closer to you when they speak. 
  • It will probably not affect your own spoken speech. 

If you are not aware of this type of hearing loss, then you may not necessarily appreciate the signs and symptoms, which could lead to a slow diagnosis. Having the right hearing aid fitted quickly will provide you with a better sense of hearing and improve the symptoms caused by low frequency hearing loss. 

Although it may be a little harder to diagnose, it is most likely going to be diagnosed via a hearing test by your audiologist. Hearing tests should be done regularly anyway as time goes on, but it is important that you book a test as quickly as you can in order to be diagnosed. You do not need to worry about any type of hearing test, they are quick and simple and can give a detailed overview of your hearing, which will help your audiologist determine the best route of treatment. 

What type of hearing loss is low-frequency classed as? 

This type of hearing loss is known as conductive hearing loss as this means that the sound is not being conducted to the inner ear adequately. A lot of conductive hearing losses can be treated medically, which is why it is vital to book a test with your audiologist and see the best type of treatment for you. 

A professional audiologist will be able to assess your hearing fully, as well as give you the necessary options for moving forwards. You may need some type of hearing aid which can boost the frequency level and can also provide noise reduction features and multiple microphones which may improve hearing in noisy situations, and allow you to be able to hear the lower frequencies easier. 

For further information on low-frequency hearing loss and available tests and treatments, call The Hearing Clinic at Woodlake at 612-200-8414.