Audiology Specialty Clinic - Sioux Falls, SD

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. If it’s hard to understand the speech of a woman or a child, but you can still, for the most part, understand the men in the room, you might have some amount of high-frequency hearing loss. 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 pick up on the volume of a woman or a child’s voice. Normally the hardest to differentiate are consonant sounds such as ch, th, t, soft s, c, sh, k, f, and h. So, it may sound like a woman or child is mumbling, even though they actually aren’t. Comprehending a child’s joke or a family member’s question about dinner plans becomes very difficult because you have lost the ability to differentiate these sounds. This can lead to frustration, sadness and social isolation from your circle of friends and family.

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

Reasons For High-Frequency Hearing Loss

Usually imperceptible in the beginning, high-frequency hearing loss, the most widespread type of hearing loss, can sneak up on you as you age. high-frequency hearing loss can be triggered by other things in addition to aging like some medical problems like cardiovascular disease, excessive noise exposure, and various medications.

The tiny hair-like sensors in the cochlea are harmed by all of these scenarios. It’s these little cells that pick up sound input and deliver it to the brain for processing. The higher pitched sounds are typically the first to become tough to understand because the high-frequency cells become damaged more easily than the lower pitched cells.

How to Prevent High-Frequency Hearing Loss

You can do several things to slow or stop the progress of high-frequency hearing loss despite the fact that you can’t stop your ears from aging. Some of these include:

  • Taking good care of your general health. Your hearing can be injured by smoking. Your hearing can also be damaged by poor health caused by poor nutrition. Protect your hearing by taking care of your general health.
  • When eliminating earwax, never utilize a swab or any other small object. Your capacity to hear becomes blunted when you push old earwax against your eardrum. 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.
  • In noisy conditions, use hearing protection. If you have to shout to be heard in a noisy setting, this is a certain signal the noise might damage your hearing. Heavy traffic, motorcycles revving, power tools running, the loud sound systems at movie theaters or live music concerts are all examples of times when popping in the ear-protection is a good idea. Noise-canceling earphones are also a good alternative in certain scenarios, but might not fit in your pocket as easily as ear-plugs.
  • Quieter things are more ideal. Find the quietest model by checking the noise rating of the appliances. And don’t be scared to ask the restaurant manager to turn the music down if it’s hard to hear your dinner companions.
  • If you use any medication, ask your doctor if it has any impact on hearing. At least 200 different varieties of medications can cause or worsen high-frequency hearing loss. Your hearing can even be harmed by too much aspirin. Check with your doctor to determine if there are choices less likely to damage your hearing. If you can’t avoid using a particular medication, stay in close communication with your hearing specialist for regular hearing loss and balance testing. Getting treatment for hearing loss early can help avoid further loss.

high-frequency Hearing Loss Treatment

At this time, the most effective method for managing high-frequency hearing loss is hearing aids. And there are many designs to choose from since this is the most prevalent kind of hearing loss. Hearing aids can boost high-pitched sounds so they are crisper to the listener. Many 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 situations like talking on the phone, listening to children, having dinner at a restaurant, or business meetings many hearing aids can be controlled by your phone and have directional microphones for fine-tuning.

If you suspect that you may have high-frequency hearing loss, schedule a hearing exam. Chances are, there are personally-tailored answers that can improve your ability to catch your grandchild’s priceless one-liners.

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