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 volume. 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 could have some level of high-frequency hearing loss. You’re not alone…this is the most prevalent form of hearing loss.

Symptoms of High-Frequency Hearing Loss

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 allow conversations to be easily understood, get muddled. Normally, consonant sounds like 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 hard to understand a child’s joke or your sister’s question about dinner plans. This can result in frustration, sadness and social isolation from your circle of friends and family.

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, whistles or squeaks. Low-frequency sounds such as bass musical notes, the rumble of thunder or a man’s voice may still be relatively easy to discern, even if the volume isn’t very loud.

Reasons For High-Frequency Hearing Loss

As the most common type of loss of hearing, high-frequency hearing loss can sneak up on people as they get older, frequently imperceptibly at first. high-frequency hearing loss can be caused by other things in addition to aging like certain medical issues like cardiovascular disease, too much noise exposure, and some medications.

The tiny hair-like sensors in the cochlea are injured by all of these scenarios. It’s these little cells that receive 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 usually the first to be difficult to understand.

How to Prevent High-Frequency Hearing Loss

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

  • Taking good care of your general health. Your hearing can be injured by smoking. Poor health, poor nutrition, or lack of exercise can also hurt your hearing. Maintain your hearing by taking care of your general health.
  • Seeking out quiet things. Pick the quietest product by checking the noise rating of the appliances. And don’t be afraid to ask the restaurant manager to turn down the music if it’s difficult to hear your friends at dinner.
  • When removing earwax, never utilize a swab or any other small object. Your capacity to hear is blunted when you push old earwax against your eardrum. Carefully clean out excess earwax with a cloth when you’re done showering, or ask your hearing care specialist about different ear irrigation techniques for getting rid of earwax without injuring your hearing.
  • In loud environments, put in hearing protection. If you need to yell to be heard in a noisy environment, this is a definite signal the noise might hurt your hearing. Some instances of times when putting in ear protection are rock concerts, engines revving, running power tools, and a loud stereo. Noise-canceling headphones are also a good solution in some scenarios, but may not fit inside your pocket as easily as ear-plugs.
  • If you use any medication, ask your doctor if it has any impact on hearing. At least 200 different kinds of medications can cause or worsen high-frequency hearing loss. Your hearing can even be harmed by too much aspirin. To learn if there are possibilities less likely to injure your hearing, consult your doctor. If you can’t avoid using a particular medication, stay in close contact with your hearing professional for regular hearing loss and balance testing. Treating hearing loss early can help avoid further loss.

Treatment For High-Frequency Hearing Loss

At this time, the most effective technique for treating high-frequency hearing loss is hearing aids. And there are many models to choose from because this is the most prevalent type of hearing loss. So that they are crisper to the listener, hearing aids can augment high pitched sounds. Many models are configurable and your hearing professional can help fine-tune them to enhance your ability to hear those sounds at the right level, directly addressing the level and extent of the hearing loss. For situations 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.

Make an appointment for a hearing test if you think you might have high-frequency hearing loss. Chances are, there are individually-customized answers that can improve your ability to hear your grandchild’s precious one-liners.

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