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

Hearing loss is not simply about volume, it’s also about pitch. It’s likely you have some level 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. This is a very common form of hearing loss so you’re not alone.

high-frequency Hearing Loss Symptoms

With high-frequency hearing loss, consonant sounds that allow conversations to be understood, 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 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 like they are. 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 result in frustration, depression 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 condition. This includes birds chirping, high musical notes, whistles or squeaks. 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.

Reasons For High-Frequency Hearing Loss

Often imperceptible in the beginning, high-frequency hearing loss, the most prevalent kind of hearing loss, can sneak up on you as you get older. Other than growing older, too much noise exposure, some medications and a number of medical issues such as cardiovascular disease can result in high-frequency hearing loss.

These situations all cause damage to the little, hair-like sensory cells within the cochlea. It’s these little cells that pick up sound input and send it to the brain for processing. The high-frequency sensory cells are more prone to damage than the low-frequency sensory cells, and this is why the higher-pitched sounds are frequently the first to become difficult to comprehend.

How to Prevent High-Frequency Hearing Loss

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

  • When extracting earwax, never utilize a swab or any other small object. Your ability to hear becomes 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 care professional for other ways to irrigate your ears.
  • medication hearing protection in noisy spaces. If you need to yell to be heard in a noisy environment, this is a certain sign the noise might injure your hearing. Heavy traffic, engines revving, power tools running, the loud sound systems at movies or rock concerts are all examples of instances when popping in the ear-plugs is a good idea. Noise-canceling headphones are also a good solution in some situations, but may not fit inside your pocket as easily as ear-plugs.
  • Your health is important so take care of it. Your hearing can be damaged by smoking. Poor health, poor nutrition, or not enough exercise can also hurt your hearing. Try to take good care of your health in all ways and this can protect your hearing also.
  • Ask your doctor about medications you use. high-frequency hearing loss can be triggered by at least 200 different kinds of medications. Your hearing can even be damaged by high doses of aspirin. Check with your doctor to see if there are possibilities less likely to injure your hearing. Stay in close contact with your hearing health care provider if you can’t abstain from taking a certain medication. Additional hearing loss can be prevented by treatment.
  • Getting quiet things. Look for noise ratings on appliances and select the quietest versions. And don’t be reluctant to ask the restaurant manager to turn the music down if it’s hard to hear your dinner companions.

high-frequency Hearing Loss Treatment

Hearing aids are currently the most effective method for dealing with high-frequency hearing loss. And there are various models to choose from since this is the most common type of hearing loss. So that they are clearer to the user, hearing aids can increase high pitched sounds. Several models are configurable and your hearing care expert can help fine-tune them to enhance your ability to hear those sounds at the correct level, directly addressing the level and degree of the hearing loss. For circumstances like talking on the phone, listening to children, having dinner at a restaurant, or business meetings several hearing aids can be controlled by your phone and have directional microphones for fine-tuning.

If you suspect that you may be dealing with high-frequency hearing loss, schedule a hearing examination. If you want to improve your capacity to hear your grandchild’s precious one-liner, chances are there are personally tailored solutions for you.