by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
A lady asked:
What is a reverse-slope hearing loss? I have never heard of this terminology for hearing loss, Would you please enlighten me?
Sure thing. Hearing losses go by some strange names such as cookie-bite loss, ski-slope loss, reverse-slope loss, etc. These names come from the shape of the hearing loss when it is plotted on an audiogram.
The most common is the ski-slope hearing loss. The ski-slope loss is where you have reasonably good hearing in the low frequencies (shown on the left side of the audiogram), but you don’t hear much at all in the high frequencies (shown on the right side of the audiogram). The audiogram thus looks much like a ski hill sloping down to the right.
A reverse slope loss, as its name implies, is just the opposite. Hearing loss is mostly in the low frequencies, with little or no loss in the high frequencies. Thus a reverse-slope loss slopes up to the right. Reverse-slope losses–especially the extreme version I have, are very rare.
If you want to learn more about the strange names associated with the various kinds of hearing losses, and see the shapes they form on audiograms, read my short, illustrated article “Kinds of Hearing Losses.”
If you want to learn more about the rare reverse-slope hearing loss and just how weird hearing is with this kind of loss, read my article entitled “The Bizarre World of Extreme Reverse-Slope (or Low Frequency) Hearing Loss.