HEARING TIPS

Why Can’t I Hear my Granddaughter’s Voice But I Can Hear Quiet Sounds?

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 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 degree of high-frequency hearing loss. This is a very prevalent kind of hearing loss so you’re not alone.

Warning Signs of High-Frequency Hearing Loss

With high-frequency hearing loss, you may 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. Usually, consonant sounds like 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 your loved ones question about dinner plans becomes very difficult because you have lost the ability to distinguish these sounds. This can lead to frustration, despair and social isolation from your circle of friends and family.

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. Low-frequency sounds such as bass musical notes, the rumble of thunder or a man’s voice might still be quite easy to discern, even if the volume isn’t that loud.

Causes of High-Frequency Hearing Loss

Frequently imperceptible at first, high-frequency hearing loss, the most common kind of hearing loss, can sneak up on you as you grow older. In addition to growing older, too much noise exposure, select medications and a variety of medical conditions including cardiovascular disease can cause high-frequency hearing loss.

These scenarios all do damage to the little, hair-like sensory cells inside of the cochlea. It’s these little cells that receive sound input and deliver 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 frequently the first to be difficult to understand.

high-frequency Hearing Loss, How to Prevent it

You can take several steps to slow or stop the progress of high-frequency hearing loss despite the fact that you can’t stop your ears from aging. Some of these include:

  • Never using a swab (or other small objects) to take out ear wax. Your ability to hear becomes blunted when you push old earwax against your eardrum. Gently wipe out excessive earwax with a cloth after you shower, or ask your hearing care specialist about other ear irrigation techniques for eliminating earwax without hurting your hearing.
  • Ask your doctor about medications you take. high-frequency hearing loss can be caused by at least 200 different kinds of medications. Your hearing can even be injured by high doses of aspirin. To discover if there are options less likely to damage your hearing, check with your doctor. Stay in close touch with your hearing health care provider if you can’t avoid using a certain medication. Getting treatment for hearing loss early can help prevent further loss.
  • Quieter things are better. Find the quietest product by examining the noise rating of the appliances. If it’s hard to hear your dinner companions, don’t be scared to ask the manager to turn the music down.
  • In loud environments, use hearing protection. If you have to shout to be heard in a noisy environment, this is a definite sign the noise might hurt your hearing. Some instances of times when wearing ear-plugs are live music concerts, engines revving, running power tools, and a loud music system. Noise canceling earphone may not fit in your pocket, but they are the best solution in certain scenarios.
  • Your health is important so take care of it. Your hearing can be damaged by smoking. Your hearing can also be harmed from poor health due to poor nutrition. Maintain your hearing by taking care of your overall health.

high-frequency Hearing Loss Treatment

Hearing aids are currently the most effective strategy for dealing with high-frequency hearing loss. And there are numerous designs to pick from since this is the most common type 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 correct level, directly addressing the level and degree of the hearing loss. Some hearing aids can be controlled by your phone and include 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 have high-frequency hearing loss, schedule a hearing test. If you want to increase your ability to hear your grandchild’s precious one-liner, odds are there are personally tailored answers for you.

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