Understanding and Managing Low-Frequency Hearing Loss

Hearing loss might not be a fatal health ailment but affects around one in six individuals in Australia.

From daily communication to mental health, professional life and personal relationships, hearing impairment of any degree can take a toll on your life. No matter the extent and type, hiding or ignoring your hearing disability will only make life difficult for you and people around you. So, it is important to identify the type of hearing loss you’re suffering from and find a suitable treatment for your condition.

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Hearing loss is classified into different types based on the severity, time of occurrence and frequency. In this article, we will be discussing low-frequency hearing loss which is often related to conductive hearing loss occurring with some degree of inner or outer ear problem.

What is low-frequency hearing loss?

Low frequency hearing loss, also known as reverse slope audiogram, is the hearing impairment that occurs when inner ear hair cells get damaged. The role of hair cells in the inner ear is to detect and pass it through the auditory nerve to the brain.

An individual suffering from this type of hearing loss will not able to hear sounds with frequencies 2000 HZ or below. However, a person with low frequency hearing loss may still hear high-frequency sounds and thus is able to still communicate better as compared to people with high-degree hearing loss.

What causes low-frequency hearing loss?

A mutation in the Wolfram Syndrome Gene (WFS1) is the most common cause of low-frequency hearing loss. Some other causes of low frequency hearing loss include:

  • Mondini Dysplasia, a malformation in the inner ear.
  • Meniere’s Disease, a disorder of the inner ear causing a feeling of congestion in the ear.
  • Sudden hearing loss
  • Renal failure
  • Viral infections
  • Rapid changed in pressure

Why is low-frequency hearing loss difficult to diagnose?

A person with low-frequency hearing loss may not detect the problem easily unless the person undergoes regular hearing tests. This is because the condition manifests no significant symptoms.

The major reason behind being symptom-free is that the low frequency sounds are intense and do not carry as much information as sounds in higher frequencies. So, a person with hearing in moderate and high frequencies can make up for what they are unable to hear in low frequencies, thus concealing their hearing loss.

In addition, a person with low frequency hearing loss usually exhibits no signs of missing speech sounds or abnormal speech production patterns as they develop speech and language just like people with normal hearing.

However, low frequency hearing loss may be manifested in a noisy environment or when the person is conversing in a group. If you already have a family history of hearing loss, we recommend you visit your audiologist for a comprehensive hearing evaluation instead of just relying on free hearing tests. The earlier you seek professional assistance and care for your hearing condition, the lesser the impact of hearing loss on your life.

How can low-frequency hearing loss be treated?

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Once you are diagnosed with low-frequency hearing loss and have assessed the severity of your condition, your audiologist will discuss with you the best course of treatment for your problem.

Treatment may not be necessary in minor cases. However, in severe degree of low frequency hearing loss, your audiologist may suggest hearing aids with noise reduction and sound amplification features that can improve your hearing in noisy background and amplify low frequency sounds that are difficult for you to hear. Moreover, you can get all the information regarding your hearing device like how you can adjust settings, how to take care of your hearing aid batteries and the device etc. from your audiologist.

Though a low frequency hearing loss may not cause as much problem as complete hearing loss, if you suspect you are suffering from this condition, you must get your hearing evaluated immediately. Early detection of hearing loss of any kind can help you seek necessary care and treatment while improving your quality of life.

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How to Make the Most Out of Your Holidays with Hearing Loss

Holidays are about family gathering, dinners and parties. But for the hearing impaired, it can be the most stressful and challenging time of the year.

Typically, any festive ambience would have a noisy background that can create challenging listening situations for the hearing impaired.

However, with the following tips, you can make your holidays less demanding and more pleasurable.

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Be strategic with your seating arrangement

When at a holiday event you can expect the noise levels to be very high, making it difficult to communicate. To facilitate your hearing:

  • Try to sit at the end of the table so you don’t have to focus on multiple group conversations going on either side of you and can enjoy your conversation as well as meal.
  • When in home, try to avoid the kitchen area and spaces near the TV while in a restaurant setting, sit away from the bar or kitchen.
  • Always try to pick a corner or a booth when a loud music is playing in the background.
  • Move to a quiet spot in the house if you think the background is too overwhelming to carry out a one-on-one conversation with an individual.
  • When going out to attend a party, arrive early to find a spot from where you can see people’s faces and interpret their facial expressions and cues.

How about a holiday buddy?

Having a companion to accompany you to a holiday gathering or party can help you keep up in conversation and have an enjoyable experience.

  • If you are at a sit-down dinner, buddy up with a family member who you share a good bond with.
  • Make sure you pick someone whose speech is clear and easy for you to understand in a loud setting.

Additional Considerations

  • Don’t be shy about your condition. Remind your family, friends and new people you interact with that you have a hearing difficulty. They will try to be more attentive when you speak and speak in a way that helps you understand easily.
  • Notify your host of your hearing and seating arrangement needs which will make it convenient for your to socialise.
  • Though you are certain to have a music playing on in a holiday setting, don’t hesitate to ask your host to turn the volume down during your meal so that you can enjoy conversations on the table better.
  • Schedule an appointment with one of the Adelaide Hearing providers to get your hearing aid checked. A professional will assess everything from your hearing aid batteries to device settings to optimise your hearing aid for the best holiday hearing experience.

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Don’t let another holiday season be affected by your hearing loss. Follow these considerations and tips to get the most out of your hearing and make a holiday experience to cherish for a lifetime.

3 Good Habits of Smart Hearing Aid Users

Though hearing aids are an effective and preferred treatment to hearing loss and impairment, you might not feel very good about your appearance and experience when you first start using one.

However, the first few days of using your device have a lot to do with your satisfaction and success in the matter.

To help new users get acquainted with their device and drive satisfaction, we have listed three common habits of smart hearing aid users that will definitely make your life better.

They have their cake and eat it too

Hearing aids are a boon to those with impaired hearing. A smart hearing aid user acknowledges the opportunity they have been provided to improve their condition with hearing aids and thus make sure to exploit the device to the fullest.

Even though a hearing device might make new users feel self-conscious, it is imperative that your wear them all day long and not just occasionally, in specific environments to reap maximum benefit out of your investment.

They own it positively

Hearing loss leaves a significant emotional impact on many and becomes a source of low self-esteem for them. If you are one of those people, it is natural to feel reluctant to open up about your condition in public.

But know that the long-term advantage you miss out on by not owning your condition can make you feel more regretful than the short-lived relief you experience by hiding your hearing problem.

A smart hearing aid user will always have people around them informed about their condition and benefit from cooperation of surrounding people and an improved hearing experience.

They take good care of their device

Hearing aids don’t come with the promise of restoring your hearing completely, but when used and taken care of appropriately, they can contribute to a much better quality of life for the hearing impaired.

Smart hearing aids users realise the fact and treat their device to special care from cleaning hearing aids regularly to checking hearing aids batteries, to ensure smooth function and a hassle-fee experience.

Furthermore, if you suspect anything wrong in its function or feel a negative difference in your experience, it is important to consult with your hearing health practitioner.

Conclusion

If you’re a new hearing aid user, follow these effective habits of smart users and you will be surprised at the difference these small practices bring to your hearing aid experience, hearing condition and of course your lifestyle.

It is also advisable to employ regular audiology visits in your daily care routine to ensure high performance of your device. The are many adelaide hearing providers out there that offer reliable hearing repairs. Count on one that has a reputation for offering quality products and hearing assessment service to benefit in the long run.