What causes a low frequency loss?

I have a low frequency loss with the worst frequencies at 500 and 1000 where I dip down to 60db. The ENT consultant offered no great insight into why this has happened other than to say it might have been a virus or an illness. The audiologist said I was probably born with it and it could have been hereditary.

I suffer greatly from occlusion and a stuffed up feeling even with RITE aids with vented domes. I am told I should not feel like this with a low frequency loss but I do. I’m also told that I need the low frequencies boosted so need closed moulds but this makes me feel like I am wearing ear muffs.

An article on Reverse slope hearing suggests I don’t have the lows boosted too much and in fact I should boost the highs - I’m really in agreement with this based on the two aids I have tried so far.

What causes a low frequency loss and why does everything that is meant to help it make it worse?

  1. Low frequency loss can be caused by an infection or genetically … although once you have it knowing the reason isn’t too useful!

  2. You have the blocked-up occlusion feeling because you have GOOD hearing at 250Hz.

  3. You need boost at 500 Hz … BUT you need a blocking earmould/aid to achieve this … which will trigger the 250 HZ occlusion effect!

  4. Intense low frequency sounds to boost the 500Hz band could cause USM (Upward Spread Of Masking) which could close down your high frequency hearing!

As a first step I would be tempted to go for a tulip dome speaker in the ear aid and boost 750Hz - 3.5KHz … or maybe a slighter narrower 1KHz to 3K Hz band ONLY.

My low frequency loss has been identified as cochlear meniere’s, hydrops, and auto-immune inner ear disease. There has never been a mention of a genetic link or an infection. I’ve had limited success with hearing aids and believe me I’ve tried them all. But lately I’ve been trying to just boost the mid-frequencies and have seen slightly better results with understanding speech. I feel like I have to educate the audiologists on this. I actually had to demand not increasing the low frequencies.

I have been using a graphics equalizer on my I-pod touch and also on my MacBook called “Hear” to fine tune what sounds best to me (using a good pair of headphones.) Then I travel to my audiologist and ask for changes in my hearing aid programs. I can’t stand the occlusion effect so I’ve learned to give up the richness of sound that low frequencies give in order to hear speech better. For music listening I only use a good set of headphones.

0250 Hz L-65 R-60
0500 Hz L-45 R-30
0750 Hz L-20 R-25
1000 Hz L-50 R-25
1500 Hz L-25 R-15
2000 Hz L-50 R-10
3000 Hz L-25 R-30
4000 Hz L-35 R-20
6000 Hz L-35 R-40
8000 Hz L-40 R-40
Single word recognition @ 60db L - 20%, R - 60%, combined 70%

True but might be interesting anyway.

  1. You have the blocked-up occlusion feeling because you have GOOD hearing at 250Hz.

Explains a lot.

  1. You need boost at 500 Hz … BUT you need a blocking earmould/aid to achieve this … which will trigger the 250 HZ occlusion effect!

I think I’d rather live without the 500hz boost than suffer the occlusion.

  1. Intense low frequency sounds to boost the 500Hz band could cause USM (Upward Spread Of Masking) which could close down your high frequency hearing!

I’d agree with that.

As a first step I would be tempted to go for a tulip dome speaker in the ear aid and boost 750Hz - 3.5KHz … or maybe a slighter narrower 1KHz to 3K Hz band ONLY.

Thank you. I will keep that in mind.

I think the problem is that audiologists are more used to dealing with high frequency loss.

My loss seems to provide a challenge which some are prepared to work “out of the box” with and others won’t.

your hearing diagram is similar to me. And I have to suffer from occlusion so much, from I started wearing hearing aids (2004). :((.
Now I open up the vent to 2.5 mm, and it is good for me.

250: 25; 500: 40; 1000: 70; 2000: 60; 4000: 50; 8000: 40

My Audiologist suspects it is genetic for me. I have several family members with hearing issues and as far as I can remember since I was a child I have always had a problem. (even if I waited at 40 y old to ‘finally’ act on it). Speech has always been an issue for me, especially from men or people that mumble, don’t pronounce their words well

I also have a 2.5mm vent on the earmolds, that’s been working pretty well so far. It allows for me to still get the very high frequencies that I can ear so well and the aids would not provide

Hi,

I am in the 6th week of trials of the Phoank Audeo Smart V and am quite disappointed so far. This is my first RIC - BTE aid having had 3 previous CIC aids. I like the reduced occlusion but am still finding problems with speech and background noise. I admit that audiologists seem to have a problem dealing with reverse slope hearing loss. Having tinnitus also adds to the problem.

Can anyone suggest a different hearing aid, perhaps with masking?

Thanks for any help.

Bill

I gave up on the Phonak and am now trying Widex Clear 330. MUCH more naturally sounding human voice. Woo Hoo!!

My mild low frequency hearing loss showed up in 2006, when I was 33 years old. Since it was conductive and the stapedal reflex was not normal, the ENT diagnosed otosclerosis. 2 of my aunts had their ears operated on in their 20s, but I don’t know if they were diagnosed with otosclerosis or not, I don’t even know if this disease was known in the years they were operated (60’s)!!!

I am now trying my first hearing aid, it is a CIC and I do not like occlusion effect. I also lose the high frequencies because the lows are so loud! When at the grocery store, I only here the fridges and ventilation, can’t hear the music, and barely the speaking people. I have only had the aid for one week and I know it needs adjustments, but like you, I think I would be willing to amplify only the speach frequencies, and not boost the other fridge/ventilation lows…

With that said, even if my loss is mild and only in one ear, I see the benefit on having an aid, an would not go without it anymore.

…250…500…1K…2k… …3K…4k…6K…8k
R… .30…35…35…25… 10…10…15…10
L…20…10…20…5. …10…5…15…5