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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 not only about volume, it’s about pitch. If it’s hard to understand the speech of a child or a woman, but you can still, for the most part, understand the men in the room, you could have some amount of high-frequency hearing loss. This is a very common kind of hearing loss so you’re not alone.

high-frequency Hearing Loss Symptoms

With high-frequency hearing loss, you could still be able to register the volume of a woman’s voice or a child’s voice, but consonant sounds that allow conversations to be easily understood, get muddled. Normally, consonant sounds like t, th, ch, soft c, s, sh, f, k, and h are the most difficult to pick out. So, it may sound like a woman or child is mumbling, even though they aren’t. Losing the ability to distinguish 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, sadness and social isolation from your circle of friends and family.

People who have high-frequency hearing loss also miss other sounds falling 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, might be fairly easy to detect.

Reasons For High-Frequency Hearing Loss

Often imperceptible at first, high-frequency hearing loss, the most prevalent kind of hearing loss, can sneak up on you as you age. Besides growing older, too much noise exposure, some medications and numerous medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease can cause high-frequency hearing loss.

The little hair-like sensors inside the cochlea are damaged by all of these scenarios. Sound input is picked up by these tiny cells and sent 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 often the first to become difficult to comprehend.

high-frequency Hearing Loss, How to Avoid it

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

  • When extracting earwax, never utilize a swab or any other small object. This can push old ear wax into your ear canal and dull your capacity to hear. A hot shower is usually enough o drain exes earwax but if this doesn’t work ask your hearing care professional for other ways to irrigate your ears.
  • In noisy situations, wear hearing protection. If you have to shout to be heard in a noisy setting, this is a sure indication the noise could injure your hearing. Some examples of times when putting in ear protection are rock concerts, motorcycles revving, power tools running, and a loud stereo. Noise-canceling headphones are also a good solution in certain situations, but may not fit in your pocket as easily as ear-plugs.
  • Ask your doctor about medications you use. At least 200 different types of medications will cause or worsen high-frequency hearing loss. Even too much aspirin can harm your hearing. consult your doctor to see if there are choices less likely to damage your hearing. Stay in close touch with your hearing health care provider if you can’t abstain from using a particular medication. Additional hearing loss can be prevented by treatment.
  • Quieter things are more ideal. Pick the quietest model by examining 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. Your hearing can be injured by smoking. Your hearing can also be damaged by poor health due to poor nutrition. Protect your hearing by taking care of your general health.

high-frequency Hearing Loss Treatment

At this time, the most effective technique for managing high-frequency hearing loss is hearing aids. And because this is the most common type of hearing loss, there are many different designs a person can choose from. Hearing aids can augment high-pitched sounds so they are crisper to the listener. You can immediately address your level and extent 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. Some hearing aids can be manipulated by your phone and come with directional microphones for fine-tuning in situations such as business meetings, restaurant dinners, talking on the phone or listening to children.

Schedule a hearing test if you think you might have high-frequency hearing loss. If you would like to increase your ability to hear your grandchild’s priceless one-liner, odds are there are personally tailored answers for you.