Hearing Health Blog

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

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

high-frequency Hearing Loss Symptoms

With high-frequency hearing loss, you could still be able to register the volume of a woman’s voice or a child’s voice, but consonant sounds that allow conversations to be easily understood, get muddled. Usually, consonant sounds such as t, th, ch, soft c, s, sh, f, k, and h are the hardest to differentiate. So, it might sound like a woman or child is mumbling, even though they aren’t. Losing the ability to distinguish 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 with high-frequency hearing loss also miss other sounds that are within the high-frequency range (2000 Hz and higher). This includes birds chirping, high musical notes, whistles or squeaks. Low-frequency sounds such as bass musical notes, the rumble of thunder or a man’s voice might still be relatively easy to discern, even if the volume isn’t that loud.

Reasons For High-Frequency Hearing Loss

As the most common type of loss of hearing, high-frequency hearing loss can creep up on people as they grow older, frequently imperceptibly at first. high-frequency hearing loss can be induced by other things in addition to aging such as some medical disorders like cardiovascular disease, excessive noise exposure, and several medications.

These scenarios all harm to the tiny, hair-like sensory cells within the cochlea. Sound input is picked up by these tiny cells and delivered to the brain for processing. The high-frequency sensory cells are more susceptible to injury than the low-frequency sensory cells, and this is why the higher-pitched sounds are commonly the first to be difficult to understand.

high-frequency Hearing Loss, How to Avoid it

You can take several steps to slow down or stop the progression of high-frequency hearing loss even though you can’t stop your ears from aging. Some of these include:

  • Looking for quiet things. Look for noise ratings on appliances and pick the quietest models. And don’t be reluctant to ask the restaurant manager to turn the music down if it’s difficult to hear your friends at dinner.
  • Never using a swab (or other small objects) to take out ear wax. Your capacity to hear becomes blunted when you jam old earwax against your eardrum. Carefully wipe out excess earwax with a washcloth after you shower, or ask your hearing care specialist about other ear irrigation techniques for eliminating earwax without hurting your hearing.
  • Your health is important so take care of it. Smoking can damage your hearing. Poor health, poor nutrition, or not enough exercise can also harm your hearing. Try to take good care of your health in all aspects and this will safeguard your hearing as well.
  • Putting in hearing protection in noisy locations. If you need to shout to be heard in a noisy environment, this is a sure indication the noise might hurt your hearing. Some instances of occasions when using ear protection are live music concerts, motorcycles revving, running power tools, and a loud stereo. Noise canceling earphone might not fit in your pocket, but they can be the best choice in some circumstances.
  • If you use any medication, ask your doctor if it has any effect on hearing. At least 200 different types of medications can cause or worsen high-frequency hearing loss. Your hearing can even be harmed by high doses of aspirin. To learn if there are options less likely to harm your hearing, check with your doctor. If you can’t avoid taking a specific medication, keep in close contact with your hearing specialist for regular hearing loss and balance testing. Getting treatment for hearing loss early can help avoid further loss.

Treatment For High-Frequency Hearing Loss

Hearing aids are currently the most effective strategy for dealing with high-frequency hearing loss. And there are various designs to choose from because this is the most common type of hearing loss. So that they are crisper to the user, hearing aids can increase high pitched sounds. You can immediately manage your level and extent of hearing loss by having your hearing care expert fine-tune your hearing aid to enhance your ability to hear sounds at the correct level. Many hearing aids can be manipulated by your phone and come with directional microphones for fine-tuning in situations such as business meetings, restaurant dinners, talking on the phone or listening to children.

Schedule a hearing test if you think you might have high-frequency hearing loss. Odds are, there are personally-customized answers that can increase your ability to hear your grandchild’s priceless one-liners.

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