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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 likely you have some amount 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. This is a very common form 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 pick up are consonant sounds like ch, th, t, soft s, c, sh, k, f, and h. 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. This can lead to frustration, depression and social isolation from your circle of friends and family.

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

Reasons For High-Frequency Hearing Loss

As the most common type of loss of hearing, high-frequency hearing loss can creep up on people as they age, often imperceptibly in the beginning. Apart from aging, too much noise exposure, some medications and a number of medical conditions including cardiovascular disease can result in high-frequency hearing loss.

The tiny hair-like sensors in the cochlea are damaged by all of these scenarios. It’s these tiny cells that pick up sound input and deliver it to the brain for processing. The higher pitched sounds are typically the first to be difficult to understand because the high-frequency cells become injured more easily than the lower pitched cells.

How to Prevent High-Frequency Hearing Loss

Even though you can’t stop your ears from getting older, there are many things you can do to prevent or at least slow the advancement of high-frequency hearing loss. Some of these include:

  • Looking for quiet things. Pick the quietest model by examining the noise rating of the appliances. If it’s difficult to hear your dinner companions, don’t be afraid to ask the manager to turn down the music.
  • Ask your doctor about medications you take. At least 200 different varieties of medications will cause or worsen high-frequency hearing loss. Your hearing can even be harmed by high doses of aspirin. consult your doctor to determine if there are choices less likely to harm your hearing. If you can’t avoid using a specific medication, stay in close contact with your hearing care specialist for regular hearing loss and balance testing. Additional hearing loss can be prevented by treatment.
  • Your health is important so take care of it. Your hearing can be damaged by smoking. Your hearing can also be damaged by poor health caused by poor nutrition. Preserve your hearing by taking care of your overall health.
  • In loud spaces, put in hearing protection. If you need to yell to be heard in a loud setting, this is a certain signal the noise might injure your hearing. Some examples of occasions when wearing ear protection are rock concerts, motorcycles revving, running power tools, and a loud stereo. Noise-canceling earphones are also a good option in certain circumstances, but may not fit in your pocket as easily as ear-plugs.
  • Never using a swab (or other small objects) to get rid of ear wax. Your capacity to hear is blunted when you push old earwax against your eardrum. Carefully wipe out excessive earwax with a rag after you shower, or ask your hearing care specialist about different ear irrigation techniques for getting rid of earwax without damaging your hearing.

high-frequency Hearing Loss Treatment

Hearing aids are currently the most efficient strategy for treating high-frequency hearing loss. And there are various models to pick from since this is the most prevalent kind of hearing loss. Hearing aids can boost high-pitched sounds so they are clearer to the user. Many models can be configured and your hearing professional can help fine-tune them to enhance your ability to hear those sounds at the right level, immediately addressing the level and extent of the hearing loss. Some hearing aids can be controlled by your phone and come with directional microphones for fine-tuning in situations like business meetings, restaurant dinners, talking on the phone or listening to children.

If you think that you may be dealing with high-frequency hearing loss, make an appointment for a hearing examination. Odds are, there are personally-customized answers that can enhance your capacity to catch your grandchild’s priceless one-liners.

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