Hearing Associates of Libertyville, IL

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

Hearing loss is not exclusively about volume, it’s about pitch. If it’s hard to comprehend 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 degree of high-frequency hearing loss. You’re not alone…this is the most common type of hearing loss.

Warning Signs of High-Frequency Hearing Loss

With high-frequency hearing loss, you could still be able to pick up the volume of a woman’s voice or a child’s voice, but consonant sounds that make conversations easy to understand, get muddled. Usually, consonant sounds like t, th, ch, soft c, s, sh, f, k, and h are the hardest to pick out. So, it might sound like a woman or child is mumbling, even though they 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. Isolation from family and friends, sadness, and frustration can be the result.

People with 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 like bass musical notes, the rumble of thunder or a man’s voice might still be quite easy to discern, even if the volume isn’t that loud.

Causes of High-Frequency Hearing Loss

As the most typical type of hearing loss, high-frequency hearing loss can sneak up on people as they get older, frequently imperceptibly in the beginning. In addition to aging, too much noise exposure, certain medications and a variety of medical conditions like cardiovascular disease can lead to high-frequency hearing loss.

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

high-frequency Hearing Loss, How to Avoid it

Although you can’t stop your ears from aging, there are several things you can do to stop or at least slow the progress of high-frequency hearing loss. Some of these include:

  • Quieter things are more ideal. Find noise ratings on appliances and choose the quietest products. If it’s difficult to hear your dinner companions, don’t be scared to ask the manager to turn down the music.
  • Never utilizing a swab (or other small objects) to remove ear wax. This can push old ear wax into your ear canal and dull your capacity to hear. Gently wipe out excess earwax with a rag when you’re done showering, or ask your hearing professional about other ear irrigation techniques for getting rid of earwax without hurting your hearing.
  • If you use any medication, ask your doctor if it has any impact on hearing. At least 200 different kinds of medications can cause or worsen high-frequency hearing loss. Even aspirin at high doses can harm your hearing. consult your doctor to see if there are possibilities less likely to injure your hearing. If you can’t avoid using a specific medication, keep in close contact with your hearing care specialist for regular hearing loss and balance testing. Further hearing loss can be avoided by treatment.
  • Caring for your overall health. Your hearing can be damaged by smoking. 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 will safeguard your hearing as well.
  • Wearing hearing protection in noisy settings. If you have to yell to be heard in a noisy setting, this is a definite sign the noise might damage your hearing. Heavy traffic, motorcycles revving, power tool sounds, the loud stereo systems at movie theaters or rock concerts are all examples of instances when popping in the ear-protection is a good idea. Noise-canceling earphones are also a good solution in some circumstances, but may not fit in your pocket as easily as ear-plugs.

high-frequency Hearing Loss Treatment

At this time, the most effective method for dealing with high-frequency hearing loss is hearing aids. And there are various designs to pick from because this is the most prevalent type of hearing loss. Hearing aids can augment high-pitched sounds so they are clearer to the listener. You can directly address your level and degree of hearing loss by having your hearing care expert fine-tune your hearing aid to increase your ability to hear sounds at the correct level. Many hearing aids can be manipulated by your phone and include directional microphones for fine-tuning in circumstances like business meetings, restaurant dinners, talking on the phone or listening to children.

If you suspect that you might have high-frequency hearing loss, make an appointment for a hearing examination. If you would like to enhance your capacity to hear your grandchild’s priceless one-liner, odds are there are personally designed answers for you.

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