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. If it’s hard to understand the speech of a child or a woman, 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 common type of hearing loss so you’re not alone.

Warning Signs of High-Frequency Hearing Loss

With high-frequency hearing loss, consonant sounds that allow conversations to be understood, get muddled even though you might still be able to pick up on the volume of a woman or a child’s voice. Usually the hardest to pick up are consonant sounds like 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. 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 cause frustration, depression and social isolation from your circle of family and friends.

Other sounds within the high-frequency hearing loss range (2000 Hz) are lost to people who have this problem. This includes birds chirping, high musical notes, sirens or squeaks. Low-frequency sounds like bass musical notes, the rumble of thunder or a man’s voice may still be quite easy to detect, even if the volume isn’t that loud.

Causes of High-Frequency Hearing Loss

Usually imperceptible in the beginning, high-frequency hearing loss, the most prevalent kind of hearing loss, can sneak up on you as you get older. high-frequency hearing loss can be triggered by other things besides aging like certain medical issues like cardiovascular disease, too much noise exposure, and some medications.

These scenarios all do damage to the little, hair-like sensory cells inside the cochlea. It’s these little cells that receive sound input and deliver it to the brain for processing. The high-frequency sensory cells are more sensitive to injury than the low-frequency sensory cells, which is why the higher-pitched sounds are often the first to be difficult to understand.

How to Prevent High-Frequency Hearing Loss

Even though you can’t stop your ears from getting older, there are quite a few things you can do to prevent or at least slow the progression of high-frequency hearing loss. Including these:

  • medication hearing protection in noisy situations. If you need to yell to be heard in a noisy setting, this is a certain sign the noise might hurt your hearing. Some instances of times when using ear protection are live music concerts, engines revving, power tools running, and a loud stereo. Noise canceling headphone might not fit inside your pocket, but they are the best choice in some situations.
  • Ask your doctor about medications you take. At least 200 different types of medications can cause or worsen high-frequency hearing loss. Even too much aspirin can damage your hearing. To find out if there are choices less likely to damage your hearing, check with your doctor. Stay in close touch with your hearing health care provider if you can’t avoid taking a certain medication. Treating hearing loss early can help avoid further loss.
  • Never utilizing a swab (or other small objects) to take out ear wax. This can jam old ear wax into your ear canal and dull your ability to hear. Gently clean out excess earwax with a washcloth when you’re done showering, or ask your hearing care specialist about other ear irrigation techniques for getting rid of earwax without injuring your hearing.
  • Caring for your overall health. Smoking can damage your hearing. Poor health, poor nutrition, or not enough exercise can also injure your hearing. Try to take good care of your health in all ways and this can safeguard your hearing also.
  • Getting quiet things. Select the quietest model by checking the noise rating of the appliances. And don’t be reluctant to ask the restaurant manager to turn down the music if it’s difficult to hear your friends at dinner.

high-frequency Hearing Loss Treatment

Hearing aids are at this time the most efficient method for dealing with high-frequency hearing loss. And because this is the most widespread kind of hearing loss, there are numerous different models a person can choose from. So that they are crisper to the listener, hearing aids can boost high pitched sounds. Many models are configurable and your hearing care expert can help fine-tune them to improve your ability to hear those sounds at the correct 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 several hearing aids can be controlled by your phone and have directional microphones for fine-tuning.

Make an appointment for a hearing test if you suspect you might have high-frequency hearing loss. If you want to enhance your capacity to hear your grandchild’s priceless one-liner, odds are there are personally designed solutions for you.

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