Imagine a person with a hearing loss so severe he can’t hear thunder rumbling overhead, yet, at the same time, has hearing so acute he can hear a pin drop; or imagine a person that can’t hear you talking just 4 feet away, yet clearly hears a whisper from across a large room; or imagine a person that can’t hear a car motor running right beside him, yet can hear a single dry leaf skittering along in the gutter 50 feet away. Welcome to my world—the bizarre world of people with extreme reverse-slope hearing losses.
For practical purposes, we can group reverse-slope hearing losses into three basic classes. 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 (Fig. In this class, the worst low-frequency hearing loss typically lies somewhere between mild and moderately-severe. Her audiogram shows a 40 d B loss at 250 Hz sloping up to around 25 d B at 1,000 Hz and reaching 10 d B by 4,000 Hz (Fig. In fact, my very high frequency hearing (well above 10,000 Hz) was at one time so sensitive that the energy needed to produce the faintest sound I could hear needed to be multiplied 1,000 times before a person with “perfect” hearing could even begin to hear it! Since I could easily hear “silent” dog whistles, some said I had “dog ears” hearing.No wonder hearing health care professionals seldom see such cases.Consequently, there is little authoritative information written on this subject.(Back to Table of Contents) There are a number of causes of reverse-slope losses, but the two most common causes seem to be certain genetic (hereditary) abnormalities and Meniere’s Disease.(Back to Table of Contents) When people think of causes of reverse-slope losses, typically they think about Meniere’s disease.