Hearing loss is about pitch as much as about volume. If it’s hard to comprehend the speech of a child or a woman, but you can still, mostly understand the men in the room, you may have some amount of high-frequency hearing loss. This is a very common kind of hearing loss so you’re not alone.
Symptoms of High-Frequency Hearing Loss
With high-frequency hearing loss, you might 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 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 actually aren’t. Losing the ability to differentiate these sounds makes it very hard to understand a child’s joke or your sister’s question about dinner plans. This can lead to frustration, sadness 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 with this problem. This includes birds chirping, high musical notes, sirens or squeaks. Even at low volumes a man’s voice, thunder, and bass musical notes, may be relatively easy to discern.
Causes of High-Frequency Hearing Loss
Frequently imperceptible at first, high-frequency hearing loss, the most prevalent type 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 specific medical conditions like cardiovascular disease, excessive noise exposure, and various medications.
These scenarios all harm 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 often the first to be difficult to understand because the high-frequency cells get injured more easily than the lower pitched cells.
How to Avoid High-Frequency Hearing Loss
You can take several steps to slow down or stop the progression of high-frequency hearing loss even though you can’t stop your ears from getting older. Including these:
- If you take 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 damaged by high doses of aspirin. To find out if there are choices less likely to harm your hearing, check with your doctor. If you can’t avoid using a particular medication, stay in close contact with your hearing care specialist for regular hearing loss and balance testing. Further hearing loss can be prevented by treatment.
- Caring for your general health. Your hearing can be damaged by smoking. Your hearing can also be harmed by poor health due to poor nutrition. Preserve your hearing by taking care of your general health.
- Quieter things are better. Look for noise ratings on appliances and choose the quietest versions. 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.
- When eliminating earwax, never use a swab or any other small object. Your ability to hear is blunted when you jam old earwax against your eardrum. A hot shower is usually enough o get rid of exes earwax but if this doesn’t work ask your hearing professional for other methods of irrigating your ears.
- In noisy spaces, wear hearing protection.A sure indication that your ears might be getting damaged is if you need to shout to be heard in a loud environment. Heavy traffic, engines revving, power tool sounds, the loud sound systems at movies or live music concerts are all examples of instances when putting in the ear-plugs is a good idea. Noise canceling headphone may not fit in your pocket, but they can be the best solution in certain situations.
Treatment For High-Frequency Hearing Loss
Hearing aids are presently the most effective method for dealing with high-frequency hearing loss. And there are various models to pick from because this is the most widespread kind of hearing loss. Hearing aids can enhance high-pitched sounds so they are clearer to the listener. Several models can be configured and your hearing care expert can help fine-tune them to increase your ability to hear those sounds at the correct level, immediately 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.
Schedule a hearing test if you suspect you might have high-frequency hearing loss. Odds are, there are personally-tailored answers that can increase your capacity to catch your grandchild’s priceless one-liners.