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 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 degree of high-frequency hearing loss. You’re not alone…this is the most prevalent kind of hearing loss.

high-frequency Hearing Loss Warning Signs

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 make conversations easy to understand, get muddled. Normally, consonant sounds such as t, th, ch, soft c, s, sh, f, k, and h are the most difficult to differentiate. So, it might sound like a woman or child is mumbling, even though they aren’t. Comprehending a child’s joke or your loved ones question about dinner plans becomes very difficult because you have lost the ability to distinguish these sounds. This can lead to frustration, depression and social isolation from your circle of family and friends.

People who have high-frequency hearing loss also miss other sounds falling within the high-frequency range (2000 Hz and higher). This includes birds chirping, high musical notes, whistles or squeaks. Even at low volumes a man’s voice, thunder, and bass musical notes, might be relatively easy to detect.

Reasons For High-Frequency Hearing Loss

Often imperceptible at first, high-frequency hearing loss, the most prevalent type of hearing loss, can sneak up on you as you grow older. Apart from growing older, excessive noise exposure, select medications and numerous medical issues such as cardiovascular disease can cause high-frequency hearing loss.

These situations all cause damage to the little, hair-like sensory cells within the cochlea. It’s these little cells that pick up sound input and deliver it to the brain for processing. The higher pitched sounds are frequently the first to be difficult to understand because the high-frequency cells become damaged more easily than the lower pitched cells.

high-frequency Hearing Loss, How to Prevent it

While you can’t stop your ears from getting older, there are many steps you can take to stop or at least slow the advancement of high-frequency hearing loss. Including these:

  • Ask your doctor about medications you use. high-frequency hearing loss can be triggered by at least 200 different kinds of medications. Even too much aspirin can damage your hearing. To discover if there are possibilities less likely to damage your hearing, check with your doctor. If you can’t avoid taking a particular medication, stay in close communication with your hearing specialist for regular hearing loss and balance testing. Dealing with hearing loss early can help avoid further loss.
  • Wearing hearing protection in noisy spaces.A sure sign that your ears could be getting damaged is if you have to shout to be heard in a noisy setting. Some instances of times when using ear-plugs are rock concerts, engines revving, running power tools, and a loud stereo. Noise canceling earphone may not fit inside your pocket, but they are the best solution in some scenarios.
  • When getting rid of earwax, never use a swab or any other small object. Your capacity to hear is blunted when you jam old earwax against your eardrum. Gently wash out excessive earwax with a cloth after you shower, or ask your hearing care specialist about different ear irrigation techniques for eliminating earwax without damaging your hearing.
  • Seeking out quiet things. Look for noise ratings on appliances and choose the quietest products. And don’t be scared to ask the restaurant manager to turn the music down if it’s difficult to hear your friends at dinner.
  • Taking good care of your overall health. Smoking can harm your hearing. Your hearing can also be injured from poor health caused by poor nutrition. Protect your hearing by taking care of your general health.

high-frequency Hearing Loss Treatment

At this time, the most reliable technique for treating high-frequency hearing loss is hearing aids. And there are many designs to choose from because this is the most widespread type of hearing loss. So that they are crisper to the listener, hearing aids can increase high pitched sounds. Many 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. Some hearing aids can be controlled 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.

Make an appointment for a hearing test if you think you may have high-frequency hearing loss. If you would like to improve your ability to hear your grandchild’s precious one-liner, chances are there are individually 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.

Main Line Audiology Consultants, PC