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

Hearing loss is about pitch as much as about volume. It’s possible you have some level 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 common type of hearing loss so you’re not alone.

high-frequency Hearing Loss Symptoms

With high-frequency hearing loss, you might still be able to pick up the volume of a woman’s voice or a child’s voice, but consonant sounds that make conversations easy to understand, get muddled. Normally the hardest to differentiate are consonant sounds like ch, th, t, soft s, c, sh, k, f, and h. So, it might sound like a woman or child is mumbling, even though they actually aren’t. 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. This can result in frustration, despair and social isolation from your circle of friends and family.

Other sounds within the high-frequency hearing loss range (2000 Hz) are lost to people who have this condition. This includes high musical notes, birds chirping, and squeaks or sirens. Even at low volumes a man’s voice, thunder, and bass musical notes, may be relatively easy to detect.

Causes of High-Frequency Hearing Loss

As the most typical type of hearing loss, high-frequency hearing loss can sneak up on people as they age, frequently imperceptibly in the beginning. Apart from aging, excessive noise exposure, certain medications and numerous medical conditions including cardiovascular disease can lead to high-frequency hearing loss.

These scenarios all cause damage to the tiny, hair-like sensory cells inside of the cochlea. Sound input is received by these tiny cells and delivered to the brain for processing. The higher pitched sounds are typically the first to become tough to understand because the high-frequency cells become injured more easily than the lower pitched cells.

high-frequency Hearing Loss, How to Avoid it

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

  • Quieter things are more ideal. Look for noise ratings on appliances and pick the quietest products. If it’s difficult to hear your friends at dinner, don’t be scared to ask the manager to turn down the music.
  • Never utilizing a swab (or other small objects) to get rid of ear wax. This can push old ear wax into your ear canal and dull your ability to hear. A hot shower is usually enough o drain exes earwax but if this doesn’t work ask your hearing care professional for other methods of irrigating your ears.
  • If you take any medication, ask your doctor if it has any impact on hearing. high-frequency hearing loss can be triggered by at least 200 different kinds of medications. Even aspirin at high doses can injure your hearing. To find out if there are options less likely to damage your hearing, consult your doctor. If you can’t avoid taking a specific medication, keep in close communication with your hearing specialist for regular hearing loss and balance testing. Further hearing loss can be avoided by treatment.
  • Taking good care of your general health. Your hearing can be damaged by smoking. Your hearing can also be harmed from poor health due to poor nutrition. Try to take good care of your health in all ways and this can safeguard your hearing also.
  • In loud surroundings, put in hearing protection. If you have to shout to be heard in a loud setting, this is a definite signal the noise might injure your hearing. Some instances of times when wearing ear protection are rock concerts, engines revving, running power tools, and a loud music system. Noise canceling earphone might not fit in your pocket, but they can be the best solution in some scenarios.

high-frequency Hearing Loss Treatment

Currently, the most reliable technique for managing high-frequency hearing loss is hearing aids. And there are many models 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. Several models can be configured and your hearing professional can help fine-tune them to improve your ability to hear those sounds at the correct level, immediately addressing the level and extent of the hearing loss. Some hearing aids can be manipulated by your phone and come with directional microphones for fine-tuning in circumstances such as business meetings, restaurant dinners, talking on the phone or listening to children.

If you think that you may have high-frequency hearing loss, schedule a hearing exam. Chances are, there are individually-tailored solutions that can improve your ability to catch your grandchild’s precious one-liners.

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