What is Low-Frequency Hearing Loss?

If you are diagnosed with low-frequency hearing loss, it means that you are unable to hear sounds in the lower pitch range (deeper sounds).  That would generally include the sounds occurring at 2,000 Hz and lower. It is not the most common type of hearing loss, but still has a relatively high prevalence and can be caused by a variety of factors.  Low frequency hearing loss can impact an individual’s quality of life, and may indicate more serious health conditions, so should be diagnosed and treated by a hearing healthcare professional. It can be evaluated with a normal hearing assessment.  Management options may include medication, surgery, and in some cases hearing aids.

Symptoms of Low-Frequency Hearing Loss

Most people with low-frequency hearing loss can participate in normal conversations and hear most normal speech. They may perceive more trouble in complex listening environments, such as group conversation or background noise.  Concerns of fullness in the ears or loss of volume may indicate low frequency loss exists. Difficulty hearing the bass range when listening to music could also be related to low frequency hearing loss.

What Causes Low-Frequency Hearing Loss?

Low-frequency hearing loss can have a number of different causes. It can be related to fluid or infection in the ear, certain diseases and disorders, accident or injury.  It is less commonly associated with aging and noise exposure. It is often presented as a conductive loss, meaning it is present in the mechanical relay of sound through the eardrum and middle ear space.  This type of hearing loss is often treated as advised by an Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist, as management can include medical and/or surgical intervention. Should a low-frequency hearing loss be determined untreatable through such means, then hearing aids would be an appropriate option to pursue.  If hearing loss goes undiagnosed and untreated, several negative consequences including severe health risks could arise. The best course of action is to see a qualified provider.

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