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Can hearing aids help low frequency hearing loss?

Question

I’ve heard that most people with hearing loss are unable to hear high frequencies, and that low frequency hearing loss is somewhat less common. I unfortunately have low frequency hearing loss so I’m afraid that most conventional treatments won’t work for me. Can hearing aids help with low frequency hearing loss?

Answer

You are quite correct, most people with a hearing loss tend to have poorer hearing in the higher frequencies. One of the reasons for this is because the inner ear contains an organ that looks like a small snail – the cochlea. Within the cochlea are thousands of tiny hair cells that sensitive to different pitched sounds. The hair cells that are sensitive to the higher pitched sounds are located at the entrance to the cochlea and therefore get more wear and tear. This is sometimes know as the doormat effect. The carpet in a room tends to wear out more where the door Is as it receives more footfall.

Most hearing aids are programmable which means they can be programmed to match different hearing losses. It is therefore possible to program hearing aids to match your loss. As your hearing loss is a little more unusual than most then you should see an audiologist if you haven’t already done so.

Author: Paul Harrison

Date: Friday 22nd March, 2013

Published in: Hearing Aid Questions

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