Why Can I Hear Soft Sounds, But Not my Granddaughter’s Voice?

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. 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 children and women. You’re not alone…this is the most prevalent kind of hearing loss.

high-frequency Hearing Loss Warning Signs

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 make conversations easy to understand, get muddled. Normally, consonant sounds such as t, th, ch, soft c, s, sh, f, k, and h are the most difficult to pick out. So, it might sound like a woman or child is mumbling, even though they actually aren’t. Understanding a child’s joke or a family member’s question about dinner plans becomes very difficult because you have lost the ability to differentiate these sounds. This can result in frustration, despair and social isolation from your circle of family and friends.

People who have high-frequency hearing loss also don’t hear other sounds that are within the high-frequency range (2000 Hz and higher). This includes birds chirping, high musical notes, sirens or squeaks. Even at low volumes a man’s voice, thunder, and bass musical notes, may be relatively easy to detect.

Causes of High-Frequency Hearing Loss

Usually imperceptible at first, high-frequency hearing loss, the most widespread type of hearing loss, can creep up on you as you grow older. high-frequency hearing loss can be triggered by other things in addition to aging such as some medical problems like cardiovascular disease, too much noise exposure, and various medications.

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

high-frequency Hearing Loss, How to Avoid it

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

  • Seeking out quiet things. Select the quietest product by checking the noise rating of the appliances. And don’t be scared to ask the restaurant manager to turn down the music if it’s difficult to hear your dinner companions.
  • If you use any medication, ask your doctor if it has any effect on hearing. high-frequency hearing loss can be triggered by at least 200 different kinds of medications. Your hearing can even be damaged by too much aspirin. To learn if there are options less likely to damage your hearing, consult your doctor. If you can’t avoid using a particular medication, stay in close communication with your hearing care professional for regular hearing loss and balance testing. Additional hearing loss can be prevented by treatment.
  • Caring for your general health. Your hearing can be injured by smoking. Poor health, poor nutrition, or not enough exercise can also injure your hearing. Protect your hearing by taking care of your overall health.
  • When getting rid of earwax, never utilize a swab or any other small object. Your capacity to hear becomes blunted when you jam old earwax against your eardrum. Gently wash out excessive earwax with a rag after you shower, or ask your hearing professional about different ear irrigation techniques for eliminating earwax without injuring your hearing.
  • In noisy environments, wear hearing protection. If you need to yell to be heard in a loud setting, this is a definite signal the noise might hurt your hearing. Some instances of times when using ear-plugs are rock concerts, motorcycles revving, power tools running, and a loud stereo. Noise canceling earphone might not fit in your pocket, but they are the best solution in some circumstances.

high-frequency Hearing Loss Treatment

Hearing aids are presently the most efficient strategy for treating high-frequency hearing loss. And since this is the most widespread kind 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 user. Many models are configurable and your hearing care expert 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. Many hearing aids can be controlled by your phone and come with directional microphones for fine-tuning in circumstances such as business meetings, restaurant dinners, talking on the phone or listening to children.

Make an appointment for a hearing test if you think you might have high-frequency hearing loss. If you would like to increase your capacity to hear your grandchild’s precious one-liner, chances are there are individually tailored solutions for you.

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