Reverse Slope Hearing Loss: Signs, Causes & Treatment Option

Written by the Nano Hearing Aids Team
Reviewed for Accuracy by Lindsay Roberts, AuD.

Lindsay Roberts
Reverse Slope Hearing Loss: Signs, Causes & Treatment Option

Reverse slope hearing loss is not the most common type of hearing loss. In fact, it is quite rare. It has been given this particular name due to the fact that it appears as such when the affected person goes through an audiogram test. Audiograms are a type of standard chart that hearing specialists use in order to determine the quality of hearing of the patient. 

Reverse Slope Hearing Loss

In general, reverse slope hearing loss generally affects the ability of a person to properly make sense of low-frequency sounds. 

What Is Reverse Slope Hearing Loss? & How It Affects People?

When we talk about low-frequency hearing loss, what we are referring to is the reduced ability of a person to hear and properly understand sounds low in pitch. Men’s voices are perfect examples of this and so are bass sounds in most music. The quality of your ability to hear these sounds properly will depend completely on your particular type of hearing loss. Hearing loss can range anywhere from mild to profound levels.

With regards to speech, it has to be noted that those who suffer from this condition will have abnormal perceptions of the volume of the speech of others. To put it in layman’s terms, we are talking about how loud speech sounds. 

Another point to be taken into consideration is the fact that this condition makes it harder for people to make out vowel sounds. This is because of the fact that people normally use vowels at a lot lower pitch than consonants. This issue is somewhat solvable by just asking people to speak a bit more loudly so that you can hear the lower register sounds properly. This is not at all the case with high-frequency hearing loss.

Reverse Slope Hearing Loss Symptoms

  • One of the most common ways to gauge whether someone has reverse slope hearing loss is the ability to understand women and children better than men. Especially when they are talking at a very loud volume. 

  • People may also find that they are having difficulty hearing over the phone when they compare it with in-person communication. Also, if you develop the condition, you will notice that you will struggle to hear the “rumbling sounds” of trucks, cars, and airplanes that other people will be able to hear. Music will also sound a lot more “thin” to you without the ability to hear bass sounds properly. 

  • Then you may also start noticing that you are extremely good at picking out sounds in the higher register that other people may miss easily. You may notice that you are always standing very close to people during in-person conversations in order to hear them better. 

Having said all of the above, it is also important to remember that your own speech will most likely sound pretty normal to you even if you have this condition.

Reverse Slope Hearing Loss Causes

  • In a lot of cases, reverse slope hearing loss is the direct result of the genetic makeup of a person. Another common cause is a particularly severe illness that they experienced during childhood.

  • However, a very important thing that you ought to note is that a lot of cases of reverse slope hearing loss are associated with Meniere’s disease or otosclerosis. Otosclerosis is a type of autoimmune disorder that can really take a toll on a person’s ability to hear among many other things.  
  • When it comes to Meniere’s, the hearing loss gets worse gradually with time. If left untreated, it can soon start affecting your ability to hear across other frequency spectrums. 
  • Lastly, while it is not really understood properly, this type of hearing loss can play a big part in contributing to heart conditions.

Diagnosis of Reverse Slope Hearing Loss

One unfortunate aspect of this type of hearing loss is that because this is such a rare condition, it often gets misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed. Then there is also the fact that the common hearing tests are not designed to be able to detect reverse slope hearing loss. 

However, there is some good news; correct and thorough testing will show the “reverse-slope” on the audiogram. The way the results of the audiogram are displayed should be sufficient enough to detect this condition. 

Treatments for Reverse Slope Hearing Loss

The first line of defense against this type of hearing loss (as with any other type of hearing loss) is hearing aids. These devices can really do wonders to help boost the quality of life, in general, of the hearing impaired. 

However, as this is not the most common type of hearing loss, you may have to go through a lot of trial and error in order to find the right hearing aid for you that will be able to address your individual hearing needs. 

When it comes to tailoring hearing aids for reverse slope hearing loss, you can’t get much better brands than Nano Hearing Aids. Nano Hearing Aids is able to offer hearing aids of the absolute highest quality at only a fraction of the price of other industry-standard devices. 

One of the major reasons that people often do not take the help of hearing aids is due to the expense of these devices. You do not have to worry about that with Nano Hearing Aids. This is a hearing aid company that has been able to significantly cut down on the price of their devices by completely eliminating middlemen and selling directly to consumers. 

They interact directly with their clients via their website. If you want to know more about this great hearing aid manufacturer, please visit their website. You will be able to see for yourself the many powerful hearing aid devices they have available. 

Hearing Aids

Final Words

Reverse slope hearing loss, although not very common, is a cause for concern if you are exhibiting any of the symptoms mentioned above. However, do not despair; hearing aids can really help you better deal with the condition.

When it comes to the best hearing aids for reverse slope hearing loss, you cannot get much better than Nano Hearing Aids, especially considering the price of other similar devices. So, if you think you might have this condition, it will be especially wise to go seek treatment for it ASAP.

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