Hearing loss is about pitch as much as volume. It’s likely you have some degree of high-frequency hearing loss if you can comprehend what the men in the room are saying but you can’t hear children and women. You’re not alone…this is the most common kind of hearing loss.
high-frequency Hearing Loss Warning Signs
With high-frequency hearing loss, consonant sounds that make conversations understandable, get muddled even though you may still be able to pick up on 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 hardest to pick out. Even though a woman or a child is not mumbling, it might sound like they are. Losing the ability to distinguish these sounds makes it very difficult to understand a child’s joke or your sister’s question about dinner plans. Separation 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. Even at low volumes a man’s voice, thunder, and bass musical notes, may be relatively easy to discern.
Reasons For High-Frequency Hearing Loss
As the most common type of hearing loss, high-frequency hearing loss can sneak up on people as they get older, usually imperceptibly at first. Apart from growing older, excessive noise exposure, particular medications and a number of medical conditions like cardiovascular disease can cause high-frequency hearing loss.
These situations all do damage to the little, hair-like sensory cells within the cochlea. It’s these tiny cells that receive sound input and deliver it to the brain for processing. The higher pitched sounds are usually the first to become hard to understand because the high-frequency cells become damaged more easily than the lower pitched cells.
How to Prevent 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:
- Quieter things are better. Look for noise ratings on appliances and choose the quietest versions. If it’s tough to hear your friends at dinner, don’t be scared to ask the manager to turn down the music.
- If you take any medication, ask your doctor if it has any effect on hearing. At least 200 different kinds of medications will cause or worsen high-frequency hearing loss. Your hearing can even be damaged by too much aspirin. To learn if there are options less likely to damage your hearing, consult your doctor. Stay in close touch with your hearing health care provider if you can’t avoid taking a certain medication. Getting treatment for hearing loss early can help prevent further loss.
- Never using a swab (or other small objects) to take out ear wax. This can push old ear wax into your ear canal and dull your ability to hear. A hot shower is usually enough o get rid of exes earwax but if this doesn’t work ask your hearing professional for other ways to irrigate your ears.
- Putting in hearing protection in noisy locations.A certain sign that your ears could be getting injured is if you have to shout to be heard in a loud setting. Some instances of times when putting in ear protection are live music concerts, motorcycles revving, power tools running, and a loud music system. Noise-canceling earphones are also a good alternative in certain scenarios, but might not fit in your pocket as easily as ear-plugs.
- Caring for your general health. Your hearing can be injured by smoking. Poor health, poor nutrition, or lack of exercise can also hurt your hearing. Protect your hearing by taking care of your overall health.
Treatment For High-Frequency Hearing Loss
At this time, the most reliable method for managing high-frequency hearing loss is hearing aids. And there are various designs to choose from since this is the most widespread type of hearing loss. So that they are clearer to the listener, hearing aids can boost high pitched sounds. You can directly manage your level and extent of hearing loss by having your hearing care professional fine-tune your hearing aid to increase your ability to hear sounds at the right level. Many hearing aids can be controlled 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.
Make an appointment for a hearing test if you think you might have high-frequency hearing loss. Odds are, there are personally-tailored answers that can enhance your ability to catch your grandchild’s priceless one-liners.