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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 is about pitch as much as about volume. It’s conceivable you have some degree of high-frequency hearing loss if you can understand what the men in the room are saying but you can’t hear women and children. You’re not alone…this is the most common type of hearing loss.

Symptoms of High-Frequency Hearing Loss

With high-frequency hearing loss, consonant sounds that allow conversations to be understood, get muddled even though you may still be able to register the volume of a woman or a child’s voice. Usually the most difficult to pick up are consonant sounds like ch, th, t, soft s, c, sh, k, f, and h. So, it may sound like a woman or child is mumbling, even though they actually 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 friends and family, sadness, and frustration can be the result.

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 quite easy to detect, 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 common type of hearing loss, can creep up on you as you age. high-frequency hearing loss can be triggered by other things in addition to aging like particular medical issues like cardiovascular disease, excessive noise exposure, and various medications.

The tiny hair-like sensors in the cochlea are injured by all of these situations. Sound input is picked up by these little cells and sent to the brain for processing. The high-frequency sensory cells are more prone to injury than the low-frequency sensory cells, which is why the higher-pitched sounds are usually the first to be difficult to comprehend.

How to Prevent High-Frequency Hearing Loss

Although you can’t stop your ears from aging, there are several steps you can take to prevent or at least slow the progression of high-frequency hearing loss. Including these:

  • Quieter things are more ideal. Select the quietest model by checking the noise rating of the appliances. If it’s difficult to hear your friends at dinner, don’t be hesitant to ask the manager to turn the music down.
  • Taking good care of your general health. Smoking can damage your hearing. Poor health, poor nutrition, or lack of exercise can also harm your hearing. Protect your hearing by taking care of your overall health.
  • Never utilizing a swab (or other small objects) to get rid of ear wax. This can push old ear wax into your ear canal and dull your ability to hear. A hot shower is normally enough o get rid of exes earwax but if this doesn’t work ask your hearing care professional for other methods of irrigating your ears.
  • In noisy surroundings, use hearing protection. If you need to yell to be heard in a noisy environment, this is a sure signal the noise could damage your hearing. Some examples of times when putting in ear-plugs are rock concerts, motorcycles revving, power tools running, and a loud music system. Noise-canceling earphones are also a good option in some circumstances, but may not fit inside your pocket as easily as ear-plugs.
  • Ask your doctor about medications you take. At least 200 different kinds of medications will cause or worsen high-frequency hearing loss. Your hearing can even be damaged by high doses of aspirin. Check with your doctor to find out if there are choices less likely to injure your hearing. If you can’t avoid taking a specific medication, stay in close contact with your hearing care specialist for regular hearing loss and balance testing. Dealing with hearing loss early can help prevent further loss.

Treatment For High-Frequency Hearing Loss

Hearing aids are presently the most effective method for dealing with high-frequency hearing loss. And there are many models to pick from because this is the most widespread type of hearing loss. So that they are crisper to the user, hearing aids can increase high pitched sounds. You can directly address 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. Some hearing aids can be manipulated by your phone and come with directional microphones for fine-tuning in circumstances like business meetings, restaurant dinners, talking on the phone or listening to children.

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