Hearing loss is not only about volume, it’s also about pitch. It’s possible you have some amount of high-frequency hearing loss if you can understand what the men in the room are saying but you can’t hear children and women. 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 may still be able to register the volume of a woman’s voice or a child’s voice, but consonant sounds that allow conversations to be easily understood, get muddled. Usually, consonant sounds like t, th, ch, soft c, s, sh, f, k, and h are the hardest to differentiate. Even though a woman or a child is not mumbling, it might sound that way. Understanding 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 cause frustration, sadness and social isolation from your circle of family and friends.
People who have high-frequency hearing loss also miss other sounds that are within the high-frequency range (2000 Hz and higher). This includes high musical notes, birds chirping, and squeaks or whistles. Low-frequency sounds such as bass musical notes, the rumble of thunder or a man’s voice may still be relatively easy to detect, even if the volume isn’t very loud.
Causes of High-Frequency Hearing Loss
Often imperceptible at first, high-frequency hearing loss, the most common type of hearing loss, can creep up on you as you get older. high-frequency hearing loss can be induced by other things besides aging such as some medical issues like cardiovascular disease, too much noise exposure, and several medications.
These situations all harm to the tiny, hair-like sensory cells within the cochlea. It’s these little cells that receive sound input and send it to the brain for processing. The high-frequency sensory cells are more vulnerable to damage than the low-frequency sensory cells, which is why the higher-pitched sounds are often the first to become difficult to understand.
How to Prevent High-Frequency Hearing Loss
While you can’t prevent your ears from getting older, there are many things you can do to stop or at least slow the progression of high-frequency hearing loss. Some of these include:
- Seeking out quiet things. Pick the quietest product by checking the noise rating of the appliances. And don’t be reluctant to ask the restaurant manager to turn the music down if it’s hard to hear your dinner companions.
- When removing earwax, never use a swab or any other small object. Your ability to hear is blunted when you jam old earwax against your eardrum. Gently wash out excess earwax with a cloth after you shower, or ask your hearing care specialist about other ear irrigation techniques for eliminating earwax without injuring your hearing.
- Ask your doctor about medications you use. high-frequency hearing loss can be caused by at least 200 different kinds of medications. Even too much aspirin can damage your hearing. Check with your doctor to see if there are choices less likely to harm your hearing. Stay in close touch with your hearing health care provider if you can’t abstain from taking a particular medication. Additional hearing loss can be avoided by treatment.
- medication hearing protection in noisy settings. If you need to yell to be heard in a noisy setting, this is a definite indication the noise could hurt your hearing. Some examples of occasions when using ear-plugs are live music concerts, engines revving, running power tools, and a loud music system. Noise canceling headphone might not fit in your pocket, but they can be the best choice in certain situations.
- Taking good care of your overall health. Smoking can injury your hearing. Poor health, poor nutrition, or not enough exercise can also hurt your hearing. Try to take good care of your health in all aspects and this will protect your hearing also.
Treatment For High-Frequency Hearing Loss
Presently, the most reliable method for managing high-frequency hearing loss is hearing aids. And because this is the most common kind of hearing loss, there are numerous different models a person can pick from. So that they are clearer to the user, hearing aids can increase high pitched sounds. Several models are configurable and your hearing professional can help fine-tune them to enhance your ability to hear those sounds at the right level, immediately addressing the level and degree of the hearing loss. Many hearing aids can be manipulated by your phone and include directional microphones for fine-tuning in situations such as business meetings, restaurant dinners, talking on the phone or listening to children.
If you suspect that you might be dealing with high-frequency hearing loss, make an appointment for a hearing exam. Odds are, there are individually-tailored solutions that can enhance your ability to catch your grandchild’s priceless one-liners.