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

Hearing loss isn’t exclusively about volume, it’s 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 type of hearing loss so you’re not alone.

Symptoms of High-Frequency Hearing Loss

With high-frequency hearing loss, you may 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. Normally the hardest to differentiate are consonant sounds like ch, th, t, soft s, c, sh, k, f, and h. So, it might sound like a woman or child is mumbling, even though they aren’t. Understanding a child’s joke or your loved ones question about dinner plans becomes very difficult because you have lost the ability to distinguish these sounds. This can result in frustration, sadness and social isolation from your circle of friends and family.

Other sounds within the high-frequency hearing loss range (2000 Hz) are lost to people who have this condition. This includes birds chirping, high musical notes, sirens or squeaks. Low-frequency sounds like bass musical notes, the rumble of thunder or a man’s voice might still be fairly easy to discern, even if the volume isn’t that loud.

Reasons For High-Frequency Hearing Loss

Usually imperceptible in the beginning, high-frequency hearing loss, the most common type of hearing loss, can sneak up on you as you grow older. Other than aging, excessive noise exposure, particular medications and a variety of medical conditions including cardiovascular disease can result in high-frequency hearing loss.

These situations all harm to the tiny, hair-like sensory cells within the cochlea. It’s these tiny cells that receive sound input and send it to the brain for processing. The high-frequency sensory cells are more vulnerable to injury than the low-frequency sensory cells, and this is why the higher-pitched sounds are often the first to become difficult to comprehend.

high-frequency Hearing Loss, How to Prevent it

You can take several steps to slow or stop the progress of high-frequency hearing loss even though you can’t stop your ears from getting older. Including these:

  • When getting rid of earwax, never use a swab or any other small object. Your capacity to hear is blunted when you push 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.
  • Taking good care of your general health. Smoking can damage your hearing. Poor health, poor nutrition, or not enough exercise can also harm your hearing. Try to take good care of your health in all ways and this can safeguard your hearing also.
  • Quieter things are better. Select the quietest product by checking the noise rating of the appliances. And don’t be afraid to ask the restaurant manager to turn down the music if it’s hard to hear your friends at dinner.
  • Ask your doctor about medications you use. high-frequency hearing loss can be triggered by at least 200 different kinds of medications. Even aspirin at high doses can harm your hearing. Check with your doctor to find out if there are possibilities less likely to harm your hearing. If you can’t avoid taking a particular medication, keep in close communication with your hearing professional for regular hearing loss and balance testing. Getting treatment for hearing loss early can help prevent further loss.
  • Using hearing protection in noisy locations. If you have to shout to be heard in a loud setting, this is a sure signal the noise might damage your hearing. Heavy traffic, motorcycles revving, power tools running, the loud stereo systems at movies or rock concerts are all good examples of times when popping in the ear-protection is a smart idea. Noise-canceling headphones are also a good solution in some scenarios, but may not fit inside your pocket as easily as ear-plugs.

Treatment For High-Frequency Hearing Loss

Currently, the most reliable method for managing high-frequency hearing loss is hearing aids. And there are various designs to choose from because this is the most widespread kind of hearing loss. Hearing aids can enhance high-pitched sounds so they are clearer to the user. Several models are configurable and your hearing care expert can help fine-tune them to improve your ability to hear those sounds at the correct level, directly addressing the level and extent of the hearing loss. 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.

Make an appointment for a hearing test if you suspect you might have high-frequency hearing loss. If you want to better your ability to hear your grandchild’s priceless one-liner, odds are there are personally designed answers for you.