How Is Sensorineural Hearing Loss Diagnosed
A sensorineural hearing loss is identified by a hearing professional who examines your ears and carries out a hearing test that comprises of a series of different tests. The results of the hearing test are presented in an audiogram where the hearing levels at different frequencies in both ears are shown.
Prevalence Of Presbycusis And Its Common Audiometric Configuration
Presbycusis is a very common problem in the elderly population in both developed and developing countries . According to the World Health Organization, the prevalence of hearing loss is approximately 33% among the global elderly population aged above 65 years . In Hong Kong, it was estimated that the prevalence of presbycusis with moderate to profound hearing loss was 37.1% . The common pattern of presbycusis is high frequency hearing loss and the degree of sensorineural hearing loss generally ranges from mild to moderately severe .
Managing High Frequency Hearing Loss
High frequency sensorineural hearing loss is usually permanent and is commonly caused by damage to the hair cells in your cochlea. A hearing aid that targets high frequency sounds may be the best option if your hearing loss is serious enough to impair your life.
Technological improvement in the past 25 years has led to the creation of hearing aids that can better match your specific type of hearing loss. Modern hearing devices often even have Bluetooth technology to sync with phones and tablets.
You can take steps to prevent high frequency hearing loss by avoiding sounds with a high pitch or frequency. Even one-time exposure to loud noises over 85 decibels can cause irreversible hearing loss.
Here are some ways to protect your hearing.
Recommended Reading: When Can You Teach Baby Sign Language
When If Ever Can Hearing Loss Be Reversed
As suggested, reversing conductive hearing loss is significantly easier than reversing sensorineural hearing loss. Conductive hearing loss can often be treated with non-invasive procedures such as ear cleaning or a simple removal of whatever object is found in the middle or outer ear. Even in cases where a more intensive procedure will be recommended, conductive hearing loss is consideredby farthe least permanent type of hearing loss.;
Sensorineural hearing loss, on the other hand, is much more difficult to reverse. Some types of sensorineural loss will be unavoidably permanent. There are, however, still quite a few reasonable treatment options available. Hearing aids are non-invasive and can be easily adjusted to meet the needs of the individual patient. In other situations, cochlear implants may be the preferred option.;
For some, sound therapy treatments might also be helpful. Sound therapy will be considered especially valuable for individuals who are experiencing tinnitus in addition to hearing loss and need a method for distracting from or mixing the ringing in their ears. Furthermore, while the irreversible nature of sensorineural hearing loss can be incredibly frustrating, things such as stem cell research, viral therapy, and gene therapy are all helping the hearing community make dramatic progress with each passing year. There are plenty of reasons for individuals with hearing troubles to be optimistic about hearing loss reversal.
Getting Tested To Identify The Loss
Given that an individual may get used to struggling a bit in loud environments to get through it but has no problems hearing high-pitched sounds, they may resist getting a hearing test. They may not realize they have hearing loss or may not think that the problem is profound enough to warrant getting a test.
However, those who have low-frequency hearing loss are likely missing sounds without realizing it that could improve their overall enjoyment of life. They could begin to talk on the phone more again without the stress of straining to hear voices and they could listen to the beautiful, rich tones of the bass in music like they used to do.
Do you want to learn more about hearing tests, identifying low-frequency hearing loss, and treatment options? Reach out to Imagine Hearing Solutions easily at 530-205-0259 for information.
Also Check: How Does Sensorineural Hearing Loss Occur
Woman With Rare Condition Couldnt Hear Male Voices
11 January 2019
A woman in China suddenly developed an unusual condition that made her unable to hear male voices. And while that might seem enviable to some, the hearing loss could carry serious medical repercussions.
The woman, who is identified only by the surname Chen, visited a hospital after waking up one morning and being unable to hear her boyfriend’s voice, Newsweek reportedyesterday . Chen also told doctors that the night before, she experienced ringing in her ears followed by vomiting.
At the hospital, Chen was treated by Dr. Lin Xiaoqing a woman who noted that while Chen was able to hear Xiaoqing’s voice, she couldn’t hear the voice of a nearby male patient “at all,” according to Newsweek. Xiaoqing diagnosed Chen with reverse-slope hearing loss, a rare type of low-frequency hearing loss that likely impaired her ability to hear deep male voices.
Reverse-slope hearing loss gets its name from the shape it produces in visualizations of hearing tests a slope that is a mirror image of the incline produced by high-frequency hearing loss, according to audiology clinic Audiology HEARS, P.C., in Cumming, Georgia. It affects an estimated 3,000 people in the U.S. and Canada for every 12,000 people with hearing loss, only one individual has RSHL, the audiology clinic reported.
The good news is that when RSHL is detected quickly, chances are good that the hearing loss can be reversed, Kraskin said.
Cochlear Implants And Reverse
Since not many hard of hearing people have reverse-slope losses, it follows that not many have received cochlear implants either. Thus, for those with extreme reverse-slope losses, there is little history of how well cochlear implants will perform.
This has led to concern on the part of people with reverse slope losses that they wont get good results with a cochlear implant. For example, Lorene wrote, I am scared that if the CI didnt work, I would not be able to use what is left of my residual hearing in my right ear.
Part of this concern stems from the fact that ski-slope losses and reverse-slope losses have residual hearing at opposite ends of the cochlea. The cochlea is shaped like a snail, and consists of 2½ turns. High frequency hearing occurs at the base and low frequency hearing at the tip .
With the normal ski-slope loss you basically have no high-frequency hearing left, so when the doctor inserts the cochlear implant electrodes into the base of the cochlea where they would normally destroy any residual high-frequency hearing, there is none there left to lose. Also, since the electrodes dont quite reach the tip where the low frequencies reside, some residual low-frequency hearing may remain.
However, if you wait until your hearing is so poor and garbled that you cant understand much anyway, you really dont have much to lose, so why worry about keeping any residual hearing?
Read Also: Can Ear Wax Plug Your Ear
What Is The Difference Between Sensorineural And Conductive Hearing Loss
Generally, sustained hearing loss can be classified in one of three given categories:
- Sensorineural Hearing Loss
- Conductive Hearing Loss
- Mixed Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss and is triggered by damage to the inner ear or the auditory nerve. These components of the ear are both delicate and complex, which make treatment difficult. This type of hearing loss is usually permanent and can be triggered by most of the underlying causes mentioned above. This includes aging, loud noises, and diseases. Genetics can also contribute to sensorineural hearing issues.
Conductive hearing loss is caused by issues in either the middle ear or the outer ear. Common types of conductive hearing loss include blockage , bone abnormalities, and damage to the eardrum. The middle and outer ears are less complex than the inner ear and are also easier to access. Conductive hearing loss has a much greater probability of being reversed.
The third type of hearing loss is mixed hearing loss, which means that both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss are affecting your ability to hear.
Music Appreciation And Reverse
Another aspect of Class 2 and 3 reverse-slope hearing losses is that we experience music much differently than do people with normal hearing. For example, when listening to acoustical guitars, all I heard was the pick, pick, pick sound of the pick on the strings, not the tones the strings themselves produced. For many years, I wondered why anyone would make and play such a stupid musical instrumentone that didnt even produce musical sounds!
At the other end of the music spectrum, piccolos and flutes are so shrill and thin and hissy that the sounds they produce sound more like fingernails screeching on a blackboard than beautiful music. This was Marges experience also. She explains, I have never really enjoyed, or been able to hear, music that was pleasant to me. I hear only high tones, so real music is all irritating and screechy.
Since I was born with a severe reverse-slope loss, I dont know what music really should sound like either. Even so, I love music and enjoy what little music I can hear.
However, to be really enjoyable, music has to be transposed to the octaves that make it come alive for us. For example, one lady with reverse-slope hearing loss tried a special hearing aid designed specifically to transpose low-frequency sounds to higher-frequency sounds. She reported, So stirring was the music that suddenly I began to cry. The beauty of the sounds I was hearing was almost tortureI simply couldnt get enough of it.2
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of An Ear Wax Plug
What Causes High Frequency Hearing Loss
Your outer ear funnels sound toward your ear canal and ear drum. The three bones in your middle ear called the malleus, incus, and stapes carry vibrations from your ear drum to a spiraling organ in your inner ear called the cochlea.
Your cochlea contains hair cells with tiny hair-like projections called stereocilia. These structures convert sound vibrations into neural impulses.
When these hairs become damaged, you may experience high frequency hearing loss. You have about hair cells in your cochlea when youre born. Hearing damage might not be detectable until 30 to 50 percent of hair cells are damaged.
The following factors can lead to damage of your stereocilia.
Can Sensorineural Hearing Loss Get Worse
Yes, a sensorineural hearing loss can get worse. Some types of sensorineural hearing loss develop over time such as an age-related hearing loss, where people typically lose more and more of their hearing ability over time. Other types of sensorineural hearing loss are more stable. It always depends on the cause of the hearing loss.; If you experience your hearing loss getting worse, it is important to get your hearing tested and get your hearing aids adjusted to the actual hearing level.
Also Check: How To Set Up Signia Hearing Aids
Aspirin And Other Medications
Some 200 prescription and over-the-counter medications can damage hearing, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Some, like aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pain medications, cause temporary hearing loss that goes away once you stop taking them. Others, like certain antibiotics or chemotherapy drugs used to treat cancer, can cause permanent damage.
What to do. If you take specific medications regularly, even over-the-counter pain relievers, ask your doctor or pharmacist if they can affect hearing. There may be alternative medication that wont cause harm to your ears.
How Can I Prevent High
Preventing hearing loss is the best way to avoid it because high-frequency hearing loss cannot be reversed. The best way to protect your hearing is to avoid high noise levels, especially noise that is louder than 85 decibels. Keep your personal electronics turned down and wear hearing protection when in noisy environments like concerts and sporting events. Use earplugs to protect your hearing. If you are involved in noisy hobbies, make sure you invest in over-the-ear hearing protection or custom earmolds.
Recommended Reading: What Is F In Sign Language
Elderly People As Potential Consumers Of Otc Hearing Aids
An informal survey conducted in Hong Kong by Cheng indicated that customers who purchased OTC hearing aids were primarily elderly people. The main reason for purchasing OTC hearing devices is probably their low cost as they are more affordable than conventional custom hearing aids. The cost of OTC hearing devices is variable but very often less than $US250; in contrast, the cost of conventional custom hearing aids is often above $US700 in Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, the income of elderly people with low socioeconomic status mainly comes from government allowances for elderly individuals, and monthly income is about US$145 to US$282 . Cost has been noted to be a major barrier to hearing aid use amongst elderly people in Hong Kong . Although the Public Hospital Authority in Hong Kong provides subsidized, conventional hearing aids that often cost less than $US160, patient’s first appointment waiting time is lengthyapproximately 23 to 85 weeks for a new case . After the first physician visit, patients require further appointments for audiological assessment and hearing aid prescription/fitting, and this long waiting period may be another factor encouraging purchase of OTC devices.
Trust The Experts At Anderson Audiology
We are here for you and all your hearing health needs. If you are concerned about the possibility of hearing loss or have any questions about hearing aids, contact us at Anderson Audiology and schedule an appointment today with one of our hearing professionals at one of our five convenient audiology clinic locations in southern Nevada.
You May Like: Is It Important To Clean Your Ears
Hearing Loss In One Ear And Risk Of Stroke
There is some evidence that people who experience sudden hearing loss in one ear; may be at increased risk of having a stroke within the next few years after they lost;their hearing.;Why sudden hearing loss occurs is poorly understood, but it’s thought that one cause could be from disrupted blood supply in the part of the brain responsible for hearing.;If you’ve experienced SSNHL, talk to your doctor about your risk of heart disease or stroke.
How Common Are Reverse
Reverse-slope hearing losses are;not;common. Most people with reverse-slope losses tend towards the milder form, but I have run across a few people with severe to extreme forms like mine.
In fact, significant reverse-slope hearing losses like mine are very rare. Out of roughly 38 million hard of hearing people in the USA and Canada, only about 3,000 of us have this unusual hearing loss according to Dr. Charles Berlin, formerly the head of the Kresge Institute in Louisiana, one researcher that has studied this kind of hearing loss fairly extensively.
This means that only one person out of every 12,000 hard of hearing people has a significant reverse-slope loss. No wonder hearing health care professionals seldom see such cases. Consequently, there is little authoritative information written on this subject.
Also Check: What Is Live Listen On Resound Hearing Aids
The Benefit Of Hearing Aids
While a person with low-frequency hearing loss may find that it is not as damaging or has less impact than the high-frequency counterpart, there is still an issue. An audiologist helps those with this type of hearing loss find a treatment plan that fits their lifestyle, which might include using hearing aids.
Wearing advanced hearing aids helps by amplifying low-pitched sounds, without making high-pitched sounds loud too. An audiologist at Imagine Hearing Solutions can help find the right amplification for the individual who is being fit for hearing aids.
Whats The Best Dosage Of Folic Acid
People who participated in the hearing loss study took 800 micrograms of folic acid a day. This amount will help protect your hearing.
Researchers dont know for now whether a lower dosage would have the same effect. According to the Institute of Medicine Food and Nutrition Board recommend, you need to take a daily dosage of 400 micrograms just to maintain your general health. However, pregnant women should take more than that, since theyre at a higher risk of folic acid deficiency.
Experts say you should stay under a maximum dosage of 1000 micrograms. You should also check with your doctors whether folic acid is safe for you if you are taking other medication. Sometimes, high folic acid levels can cause seizures.
You May Like: Can Otomize Ear Spray Give You Hearing Loss
How To Treat Sensorineural Hearing Loss
People with sensorineural hearing loss cannot regain their hearing, but most people can benefit from hearing;aids. ;A more severe or profound sensorineural hearing loss can be treated with hearing implants. A few cases of sensorineural hearing loss can be treated by means of surgery.
A hearing test carried out by a hearing professional will detect if you have a sensorineural hearing loss.
How It Affects What You Hear
Low-frequency hearing loss is defined as a reduced ability to hear low-pitched sounds, such as men’s voices, bass sounds in music and thunder. How well you hear these soundsor notdepends on the degree of your hearing loss, which can range from mild to profound.;
When it comes to speech, this type of hearing loss mostly affects how you perceive the volume of speechas in, how loud it sounds. It also makes it harder to hear vowel sounds, which are spoken at a lower-pitch than consonant sounds. Unlike high-frequency hearing loss, it’s helpful to have people speak louder, as it will improve your ability to hear lower sounds .;
You May Like: How Do You Say Here In Sign Language
Hearing Aids And Reverse
People with reverse-slope losses often ask, Which is the best hearing aid for my kind of hearing loss? In the past there were no best hearing aids. In fact, there werent even any good hearing aids for us. No wonder Terry lamented, Is there;any;kind of hearing aid for my kind of hearing loss? It seems everything out there is for high frequency loss.
Hearing aid manufacturers have not concerned themselves with the unique needs of people with reverse-slope hearing losses. They just make hearing aids for the most common kind of hearing loss . From their point of view, there are not enough of us for them to have the financial motive to develop a hearing aid to fit us.
Think about it. Since reverse-slope losses like mine only occur in 1 person in 12,000 hard of hearing people, assuming that all of us with reasonably-severe reverse-slope losses bought such hearing aids, the manufacturers would be able to sell a total of maybe 3,000 or so in North America! Not much of an incentive, is it?
Some people with reverse-slope losses have wondered why hearing aids such as the AVR ImpaCt, a high to low frequency-transposing hearing aid designed specifically for those with severe ski-slope losses, couldnt be reverse designed to transpose the low frequencies to higher ones.
For example, Patti wrote, It seems that they should be able to develop a hearing aid that could take low frequencies and compress them into the high frequencies so that we could hear more.
Hypothyroidism And Hearing Problems
Contrary to hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism is a condition characterized by the underactive thyroid gland and insufficient production of T3 and T4 hormones.
Men and women with this common condition have a wide range of symptoms such as weight gain, high cholesterol, hair loss, mood swings, among others. A growing body of evidence confirms that untreated hypothyroidism impairs hearing, but little is known about all the underlying mechanisms.
For instance, Lichtenberger-Geslin et al. found that patients with congenital hypothyroidism can develop hearing problems, usually around the age of seven and many of them require hearing support in early adulthood.
While we have already discussed that hypothyroidism and hearing problems are associated with both adults and children, the underlying mechanisms that link the two issues are not fully elucidated.
Efficient ear function requires normal levels of various hormones including thyroid hormones, estrogen, cortisol , vasopressin , and aldosterone .
Why is this important?
Well, in addition to the impaired balance of thyroid hormones, patients with hypothyroidism also exhibit abnormalities in their electrolytes. As a result, the function of the inner ear which depends on the balance of electrolytes and hormones weakens.
Don’t Miss: How To Say Happy In Sign Language
How To Treat High
Many people think of hearing loss as a decades-long trip into silence. Yet hearing loss, especially high-frequency hearing loss, can sneak up on you and can seem inconsistent.
Your sister doesnt understand why you seem to hear the sportscasters on the TV so clearly, but you misunderstand her on the phone or even in person. Shes even accused you of not listening to her.
You dont really know what to tell her. Shes not mumbling. Shes speaking at a normal volume. Its just easier to understand people, usually men, on TV.
What causes these strange variations in what you can and cant hear?
The truth is that hearing loss isnt just about volume. Speaking up wont always make a difference, especially if you have high-frequency hearing loss.
Lets take a look at this form of hearing loss and how its treated.
Could You Be Suffering From High Frequency Hearing Loss
- Date: August 23, 2018
Your family members may have told you that they are concerned about your hearing. You may even have shrugged off their worries because your hearing problems come and go. You might have no trouble hearing the television, but repeatedly ask young children to repeat themselves. If you notice a difference in your hearing with different sounds, people, and environments, you could be suffering from high frequency hearing loss.
Read Also: How To Deal With Ear Infection
What Is A Reverse
Hearing losses are sometimes classified according to the;shape;they form on an audiogram. They commonly go by strange names such as ski-slope loss, cookie-bite loss, flat loss, reverse cookie-bite loss and reverse-slope hearing loss.
By far the most common kind of hearing loss is the typical ski-slope loss where the line on the audiogram slopes;downto the right. In contrast, a reverse-slope loss does the reverse and slopes;up;to the right.
As a result this kind of hearing loss is sometimes referred to as an up-sloping loss, a rising loss, or even a low frequency hearing loss, but by far the most common name is the reverse-slope hearing loss.
Dont make the mistake of thinking that all reverse-slope losses are the same. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is an enormous difference in hearing between a mild gently-sloping reverse-slope hearing loss, and a severe or profound steeply-sloping reverse-slope loss.
For practical purposes, we can group reverse-slope hearing losses into three basic classes.
Class 1.;;;; Perhaps the most common form of this relatively-rare loss is a gently up-sloping line in the standard audiometric frequencies between 250 and 8,000 Hz . In this class, the worst low-frequency hearing loss typically lies somewhere between mild and moderately-severe.
Ellas hearing fits this class. Her audiogram shows a 40 dB loss at 250 Hz sloping up to around 25 dB at 1,000 Hz and reaching 10 dB by 4,000 Hz .
References For Conductive Hearing Loss
Australia. Department of Veterans Affairs: medical research in relation to the Statement of Principles concerning Conductive Hearing Loss, which cites the following as references:
- Date modified:;
Don’t Miss: How To Relieve Clogged Ear From Ear Infection