Why Can I Hear Quiet 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 about pitch as much as about volume. If you find it 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 might have some amount of high-frequency hearing loss. You’re not alone…this is the most common form of hearing loss.

Warning Signs of High-Frequency Hearing Loss

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 hardest to differentiate. So, it may sound like a woman or child is mumbling, even though they aren’t. Losing the ability to differentiate these sounds makes it very difficult 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 don’t hear other sounds that are within the high-frequency range (2000 Hz and higher). This includes high musical notes, birds chirping, and squeaks or sirens. Even at low volumes a man’s voice, thunder, and bass musical notes, may be relatively easy to detect.

Reasons For High-Frequency Hearing Loss

As the most common type of loss of hearing, high-frequency hearing loss can sneak up on people as they get older, frequently imperceptibly in the beginning. high-frequency hearing loss can be induced by other things besides aging such as specific medical disorders like cardiovascular disease, excessive noise exposure, and some medications.

These scenarios all cause damage to the tiny, hair-like sensory cells inside the cochlea. It’s these little cells that pick up sound input and deliver it to the brain for processing. The high-frequency sensory cells are more sensitive to damage than the low-frequency sensory cells, which is why the higher-pitched sounds are usually the first to become difficult to understand.

high-frequency Hearing Loss, How to Avoid it

You can do several things to slow down or stop the progression of high-frequency hearing loss despite the fact that you can’t stop your ears from growing older. Including these:

  • Taking good care of your general health. Your hearing can be injured by smoking. Poor health, poor nutrition, or lack of exercise can also hurt your hearing. Try to take good care of your health in all ways and this will protect your hearing also.
  • If you use any medication, ask your doctor if it has any effect on hearing. high-frequency hearing loss can be caused by at least 200 different kinds of medications. Your hearing can even be injured by too much aspirin. Check with your doctor to see if there are possibilities less likely to harm your hearing. If you can’t avoid taking a specific medication, keep in close contact with your hearing care specialist for regular hearing loss and balance testing. Additional hearing loss can be avoided by treatment.
  • Quieter things are more ideal. Find noise ratings on appliances and select the quietest products. If it’s hard to hear your friends at dinner, don’t be scared to ask the manager to turn the music down.
  • In noisy environments, wear hearing protection. If you have to yell to be heard in a loud setting, this is a sure sign the noise could damage your hearing. Some instances of times when putting in ear protection are rock concerts, engines revving, running power tools, and a loud music system. Noise canceling headphone may not fit inside your pocket, but they can be the best solution in some scenarios.
  • When removing earwax, never utilize a swab or any other small object. This can push old ear wax into your ear canal and blunt your ability to hear. A hot shower is normally enough o drain exes earwax but if this doesn’t work ask your hearing professional for other ways to irrigate your ears.

Treatment For High-Frequency Hearing Loss

Currently, the most effective method for managing high-frequency hearing loss is hearing aids. And there are numerous models to choose from since this is the most common kind of hearing loss. So that they are crisper to the user, hearing aids can boost high pitched sounds. You can immediately 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. Many hearing aids can be manipulated 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.

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

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.