Hearing Health Blog

Woman talking with her granddaughter at a pier now that she is not suffering from high-frequency hearing loss.

Hearing loss is not just about volume, it’s also about pitch. If it’s hard to understand the speech of a child or a woman, but you can still, mostly understand the men in the room, you might have some degree of high-frequency hearing loss. You’re not alone…this is the most prevalent type of hearing loss.

high-frequency Hearing Loss Symptoms

With high-frequency hearing loss, consonant sounds that make conversations understandable, get muddled even though you might still be able to register the volume of a woman or a child’s voice. Usually, consonant sounds like t, th, ch, soft c, s, sh, f, k, and h are the hardest to pick out. Even though a woman or a child is not mumbling, it may sound that way. Losing the ability to distinguish these sounds makes it very hard to understand a child’s joke or your sister’s question about dinner plans. Separation from friends and family, sadness, and frustration can be the result.

People with high-frequency hearing loss also don’t hear other sounds that are within the high-frequency range (2000 Hz and higher). This includes birds chirping, high musical notes, sirens or squeaks. Even at low volumes a man’s voice, thunder, and bass musical notes, may be relatively easy to detect.

Reasons For High-Frequency Hearing Loss

Often imperceptible in the beginning, high-frequency hearing loss, the most prevalent kind of hearing loss, can sneak up on you as you grow older. In addition to aging, excessive noise exposure, particular medications and a number of medical issues including cardiovascular disease can result in high-frequency hearing loss.

The little hair-like sensors within the cochlea are harmed by all of these scenarios. It’s these little cells that receive sound input and send it to the brain for processing. The higher pitched sounds are usually the first to be tough to understand because the high-frequency cells become injured more easily than the lower pitched cells.

How to Prevent High-Frequency Hearing Loss

You can take several steps to slow down or stop the development of high-frequency hearing loss despite the fact that you can’t stop your ears from growing older. Some of these include:

  • In noisy conditions, wear hearing protection. If you have to yell to be heard in a loud environment, this is a certain sign the noise might injure your hearing. Heavy traffic, engines revving, power tools running, the loud stereo systems at movie theaters or live music concerts are all examples of occasions when popping in the ear-protection is a smart idea. Noise canceling headphone may not fit in your pocket, but they are the best solution in certain situations.
  • Quieter things are more ideal. Pick the quietest model by examining the noise rating of the appliances. And don’t be scared to ask the restaurant manager to turn the music down if it’s hard to hear your friends at dinner.
  • Never utilizing a swab (or other small objects) to take out ear wax. This can jam old ear wax into your ear canal and dull your ability to hear. A hot shower is normally enough o drain exes earwax but if this doesn’t work ask your hearing care professional for other methods of irrigating your ears.
  • Your health is important so take good care of it. Your hearing can be damaged by smoking. Your hearing can also be damaged by poor health caused by poor nutrition. Try to take good care of your health in all aspects and this will safeguard your hearing also.
  • Ask your doctor about medications you use. At least 200 different types of medications can cause or worsen high-frequency hearing loss. Even too much aspirin can harm your hearing. To find out if there are possibilities less likely to injure your hearing, check with your doctor. Stay in close touch with your hearing health care provider if you can’t abstain from taking a certain medication. Dealing with hearing loss early can help prevent further loss.

high-frequency Hearing Loss Treatment

Hearing aids are at this time the most effective method for treating high-frequency hearing loss. And there are various designs to pick from since this is the most common type of hearing loss. So that they are clearer to the user, hearing aids can augment high pitched sounds. Several models can be configured and your hearing care expert can help fine-tune them to increase your ability to hear those sounds at the right level, immediately addressing the level and extent of the hearing loss. Many hearing aids can be controlled by your phone and include directional microphones for fine-tuning in circumstances like business meetings, restaurant dinners, talking on the phone or listening to children.

If you suspect that you might be dealing with high-frequency hearing loss, make an appointment for a hearing examination. If you would like to better your capacity to hear your grandchild’s precious one-liner, chances are there are individually tailored solutions for you.

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