Reverse-slope or low-frequency hearing loss can occur at any age, regardless of the cause. It can result from a variety of different medical conditions, including Diabetes, Meniere's disease, and Optic atrophy. A diagnosis can be difficult to make, as symptoms can occur slowly. However, hearing aids can help improve these symptoms. In addition to allowing patients to hear more clearly, hearing aids can improve many other aspects of daily life.
Reverse-slope or low-frequency hearing loss
People with reverse-slope or low-frequency hearing loss may not be able to hear certain noises. While they may be able to hear high-pitched sounds, they can't hear low-pitched sounds, which makes the aforementioned noises inaudible. Typically, these noises come from engines, factories, and appliances. People with reverse-slope hearing loss may also have difficulty hearing things such as the humming of a refrigerator or the clicking sound of a car.
Because reverse-slope or low-frequency hearing loss is not always easy to detect, it is important to seek a hearing test from a reputable audiologist. It is important to remember that low-frequency sounds represent much of what is below the middle C-note. The reverse-slope graphic will appear opposite to a high-frequency hearing loss. During an audiogram, your audiologist can determine which frequencies are being affected and the best treatment for each type.
Treatment for reverse-slope hearing loss involves the use of hearing aids. Unlike traditional hearing aids, these devices amplify low-pitch sounds while ignoring high-pitched ones. In some cases, it may take a few trials before a perfect fit is achieved. Regardless of the cause of the hearing loss, however, the device may be helpful in improving the quality of life of the patient.
Since reverse-slope or low-frequency hearing loss is rare, a comprehensive diagnostic test is necessary to determine the cause of the problem. An audiogram will display a reverse-slope pattern if the patient is unable to hear low-pitched sounds. Additionally, the audiologist can ask the patient about their experience with hearing and perform other tests to determine what might be causing the hearing problem.
Another cause of hearing loss is acoustic trauma. While an ear injury can cause this condition, abrasions can also cause it. People with this condition are more susceptible to the damaging effects of noise. They may not be able to hear certain sounds such as male voices. Fortunately, it's possible to treat the symptoms of reverse-slope or low-frequency hearing loss by avoiding or limiting them.
Meniere's disease is a condition in which fluid inside the organs of balance and hearing increases, causing dizziness and low frequency (musical) sensitivity. The fluid also causes sudden changes in hearing and can lead to a sudden sense of falling or tilting. The symptoms of Meniere's disease include sudden loss of hearing in one or both ears and dizziness or a ringing or roaring sound. These symptoms are caused by the buildup of fluid in the inner ear, which disrupts the messages sent by the balance and hearing nerves.
In the later stages of the disease, the hearing loss increases, and the attacks of vertigo gradually diminish or disappear. The tinnitus, which is a perceived sound in the ear, may also worsen. The hearing loss may also lead to other hearing problems, including distortion, loudness discomfort, and recruitment. In addition to low frequency hearing loss, Meniere's disease causes significant general balance problems and tinnitus.
The underlying cause of Meniere's disease is not known, but the disorder is thought to be caused by an increase in the pressure inside the cochlea. The increase in pressure affects the balance and fine-tuning functions of the basilar membrane and outer hair cells. Initially, the effects of Meniere's disease are reversible between attacks, but with repeated exposure to high-pressure conditions, the damage to the semi-circular canals may result in permanent hearing loss and reduced tolerance for louder sounds.
Some patients with low-tone SNHL develop high-tone SNHL within ten years of diagnosis. However, some patients do have miraculous hearing recoveries, reflecting a different injury mechanism. Other low-tone SNHL could be caused by brainstem damage. Some patients also exhibit oscillations at low-tone frequencies. These patients are likely to have Meniere's disease. The new international criteria for the diagnosis of Meniere's disease are described below.
Diagnosing Meniere's disease is the key to effective treatment. The doctor will ask about the frequency, duration, and a number of attacks you've experienced. Treatment for Meniere's disease includes medication, vestibular rehabilitation, hearing aids, and counselling. However, it is important to note that there is no reliable test for the condition. If symptoms persist after treatment, it's worth contacting a medical practitioner immediately.
If you have diabetes, you should have your hearing checked at least once per year. Your doctor can prescribe a validated test to check your hearing. Keeping your blood sugar in the right range is important to prevent low frequency hearing loss and other complications of diabetes. However, you should not ignore your hearing problems unless you visit a doctor immediately. Having low hearing can affect your social life and can be very frustrating for your family and friends.
Type 1 diabetes is a condition caused by autoimmune destruction of the pancreatic b-cells. Type 2 diabetes results from the failure of the b-cells. Type 2 diabetes is caused by long-term insulin resistance and genetic susceptibility to developing the disease. In both types of diabetes, the onset of the symptoms is different. In type 1 diabetes, there is direct injury to the sensory receptors, including spiral ganglion neurons and outer hair cells. In type 2, the damage may occur more broadly, affecting the organ through endolymphatic leakage.
While low-frequency hearing loss due to diabetes can be temporary, it may become permanent. If left untreated, low-frequency hearing loss can result in a deteriorating condition of the inner ear. It is also possible for diabetics to experience optic atrophy, a condition where the nerve connecting the eye to the brain is damaged. Middle-ear problems can also cause this condition. It's important to visit your doctor if you experience any of these problems.
Type 2 diabetes often develops in older individuals and can lead to other morbidities. Because diabetes is often chronic, patients must take medications to control blood glucose levels. These drugs can affect the hearing and balance of diabetics. Fortunately, the FDA has published studies that have indicated that type 2 diabetes is associated with low frequency hearing loss. You can read more about hearing loss in diabetics below! So, what can you do if you have diabetes?
If you suspect that you may have LTSNHL, your doctor will likely recommend a low-frequency screening to assess your hearing. A simple blood test for hearing loss may not detect this condition at all. If your doctor is unsure of the cause, your doctor may recommend a genetic test or genetic counseling. The results of genetic testing can be invaluable for managing your hearing loss. But in the meantime, you must be aware of this condition.
Optic atrophy and low frequency hearing loss are two different conditions associated with mutations of WFS1 (wolfram syndrome), a gene that governs the development of the auditory system. Optic atrophy is a deterioration in the retinal layers of the eyes, which may also be accompanied by hearing loss. Individuals with this condition usually have a large multiplex family history of optic atrophy, which is associated with hypertrophic cardiopathy, diabetes mellitus, and early-onset sensorineural hearing loss.
The genetic cause of DOA is still unknown, but it has been linked to OPA1 for more than ten years. The gene is primarily responsible for maintaining the optic nerve, with a focus on the loss of RGCs. However, two main questions remain unanswered, including how OPA1 affects RGC integrity and how it contributes to DOA. These answers would help in the development of new treatments for this condition.
Genetic testing can also help identify the cause of optic atrophy. Mutations in the OPA1 gene are linked with retinal atrophy and a wide range of other conditions. In the case of optic atrophy, the gene affects vision, as well as skeletal muscle. Additionally, a defective mtDNA can affect the stability of mitochondrial DNA, which can result in optic atrophy. Optic atrophy and low frequency hearing loss are two different diseases, but the common factor is genetic.
There are several types of optic atrophy, including Dominant Optic Atrophy (DOA), which is characterized by a c.2708delTTAG mutation in OPA1. The patient has a pallor in the optic nerve, but the rest of the retina is healthy. Optic Coherence Tomography (OCT) examinations reveal a general reduction of the retinal nerve fiber layer in all quadrants and a prevailing temporal side.
LTSNHL is associated with Wolfram syndrome, an autosomal recessive disorder that includes diabetes mellitus, optic atrophy, and deafness. However, these syndromes are rare and often overlooked, so it is not recommended that patients with low frequency SNHL undergo diagnostic tests for Wolfram syndrome. For this reason, patients with this disorder are usually diagnosed with a possible Meniere's disease and treated accordingly.