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

Hearing loss is not simply about volume, it’s about pitch. It’s conceivable you have some degree of high-frequency hearing loss if you can understand what the men in the room are saying but you can’t hear women and children. This is a very prevalent form of hearing loss so you’re not alone.

Warning Signs of High-Frequency Hearing Loss

With high-frequency hearing loss, consonant sounds that make conversations understandable, get muddled even though you may still be able to register the volume of a woman or a child’s voice. Normally, consonant sounds such as t, th, ch, soft c, s, sh, f, k, and h are the hardest to differentiate. So, it may sound like a woman or child is mumbling, even though they aren’t. Losing the ability to differentiate these sounds makes it very difficult 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 who have high-frequency hearing loss also don’t hear other sounds falling within the high-frequency range (2000 Hz and higher). This includes birds chirping, high musical notes, sirens or squeaks. Low-frequency sounds like bass musical notes, the rumble of thunder or a man’s voice might still be fairly easy to detect, even if the volume isn’t very loud.

Causes of High-Frequency Hearing Loss

As the most common type of loss of hearing, high-frequency hearing loss can sneak up on people as they age, usually imperceptibly in the beginning. high-frequency hearing loss can be caused by other things in addition to aging such as some medical issues like cardiovascular disease, excessive noise exposure, and some medications.

These scenarios all cause damage to the tiny, hair-like sensory cells inside the cochlea. It’s these little cells that pick up sound input and deliver it to the brain for processing. The high-frequency sensory cells are more susceptible to damage than the low-frequency sensory cells, and this is why the higher-pitched sounds are frequently the first to be difficult to comprehend.

high-frequency Hearing Loss, How to Prevent it

Even though you can’t stop your ears from growing older, there are several steps you can take to stop or at least slow down the progress of high-frequency hearing loss. Including these:

  • Ask your doctor about medications you use. At least 200 different kinds of medications can cause or worsen high-frequency hearing loss. Even too much aspirin can damage your hearing. To find out if there are choices less likely to injure your hearing, consult your doctor. Stay in close touch with your hearing health care provider if you can’t avoid using a particular medication. Treating hearing loss early can help prevent further loss.
  • In loud surroundings, wear hearing protection.A definite indication that your ears might be getting injured is if you need to shout to be heard in a noisy location. Some instances of times when wearing ear protection are rock concerts, engines revving, power tools running, and a loud stereo. Noise-canceling headphones are also a good option in some scenarios, but might not fit in your pocket as easily as ear-plugs.
  • Your health is important so take good care of it. Your hearing can be injured by smoking. Your hearing can also be damaged by poor health due to poor nutrition. Protect your hearing by taking care of your overall health.
  • Never using a swab (or other small objects) to remove ear wax. Your ability to hear becomes blunted when you jam old earwax against your eardrum. Carefully wipe out excessive earwax with a rag after you shower, or ask your hearing care specialist about different ear irrigation techniques for removing earwax without damaging your hearing.
  • Quieter things are more ideal. Find the quietest product by checking the noise rating of the appliances. If it’s difficult to hear your friends at dinner, don’t be hesitant to ask the manager to turn the music down.

Treatment For High-Frequency Hearing Loss

Currently, the most reliable method for dealing with high-frequency hearing loss is hearing aids. And because this is the most common type of hearing loss, there are numerous different models a person can pick from. Hearing aids can boost high-pitched sounds so they are crisper to the user. Several models are configurable and your hearing care expert can help fine-tune them to improve your ability to hear those sounds at the right level, directly addressing the level and degree of the hearing loss. For circumstances like talking on the phone, listening to children, having dinner at a restaurant, or business meetings many hearing aids can be manipulated by your phone and have directional microphones for fine-tuning.

If you think that you may be dealing with high-frequency hearing loss, make an appointment for a hearing test. If you want to better your ability to hear your grandchild’s precious one-liner, chances are there are personally tailored solutions for you.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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