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Woman talking with her granddaughter at a pier now that she is not suffering from high-frequency hearing loss.

Hearing loss isn’t just about volume, it’s about pitch. If it’s hard to comprehend the speech of a woman or a child, but you can still, mostly understand the men in the room, you may have some degree of high-frequency hearing loss. This is a very prevalent kind of hearing loss so you’re not alone.

high-frequency Hearing Loss Symptoms

With high-frequency hearing loss, consonant sounds that make conversations understandable, get muddled even though you might still be able to register the volume of a woman or a child’s voice. Normally, consonant sounds such as t, th, ch, soft c, s, sh, f, k, and h are the most difficult to differentiate. 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 lead to frustration, despair and social isolation from your circle of friends and family.

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 sirens. Even at low volumes a man’s voice, thunder, and bass musical notes, might be fairly easy to detect.

Reasons For High-Frequency Hearing Loss

Usually imperceptible at first, high-frequency hearing loss, the most widespread type of hearing loss, can sneak up on you as you grow older. Besides aging, excessive noise exposure, certain medications and a variety of medical problems like cardiovascular disease can cause high-frequency hearing loss.

These scenarios all do damage to the little, hair-like sensory cells within the cochlea. Sound input is picked up by these little cells and sent to the brain for processing. The higher pitched sounds are often the first to become tough 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 do several things to slow down or stop the progress of high-frequency hearing loss even though you can’t stop your ears from aging. Some of these include:

  • Your health is important so take good care of it. Smoking can damage your hearing. Your hearing can also be injured by poor health caused by poor nutrition. Try to take good care of your health in all ways and this can protect your hearing as well.
  • Never using a swab (or other small objects) to get rid of ear wax. Your capacity to hear is blunted when you push old earwax against your eardrum. Carefully wash out excess earwax with a cloth when you’re done showering, or ask your hearing professional about different ear irrigation techniques for removing earwax without hurting your hearing.
  • Putting in hearing protection in noisy locations. If you have to shout to be heard in a loud setting, this is a definite indication the noise could damage your hearing. Heavy traffic, motorcycles revving, power tools running, the loud stereo systems at movies or live music concerts are all examples of occasions when popping in the ear-plugs is a smart idea. Noise canceling headphone may not fit in your pocket, but they can be the best choice in certain circumstances.
  • Ask your doctor about medications you use. At least 200 different types of medications will cause or worsen high-frequency hearing loss. Even aspirin at high doses can injure your hearing. To find out if there are choices less likely to damage your hearing, check with your doctor. Stay in close contact with your hearing health care provider if you can’t avoid taking a certain medication. Treating hearing loss early can help prevent further loss.
  • Quieter things are more ideal. Find the quietest model by checking the noise rating of the appliances. If it’s tough to hear your friends at dinner, don’t be afraid to ask the manager to turn the music down.

high-frequency Hearing Loss Treatment

Hearing aids are presently the most effective strategy for dealing with high-frequency hearing loss. And there are various designs to choose from because this is the most prevalent kind of hearing loss. Hearing aids can augment high-pitched sounds so they are clearer to the listener. You can immediately address your level and degree of hearing loss by having your hearing care expert fine-tune your hearing aid to improve your ability to hear sounds at the correct level. For circumstances such as talking on the phone, listening to children, having dinner at a restaurant, or business meetings several hearing aids can be manipulated by your phone and have directional microphones for fine-tuning.

Schedule a hearing test if you suspect you may have high-frequency hearing loss. Odds are, there are personally-tailored answers that can enhance your capacity to catch your grandchild’s precious one-liners.