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

high-frequency Hearing Loss Warning Signs

With high-frequency hearing loss, consonant sounds that make conversations understandable, get muddled even though you might still be able to register the volume of a woman or a child’s voice. Usually, consonant sounds like t, th, ch, soft c, s, sh, f, k, and h are the hardest to pick out. So, it might sound like a woman or child is mumbling, even though they aren’t. Comprehending a child’s joke or your loved ones question about dinner plans becomes very difficult because you have lost the ability to differentiate these sounds. Isolation from friends and family, sadness, and frustration can be the result.

People with high-frequency hearing loss also miss other sounds falling within the high-frequency range (2000 Hz and higher). This includes birds chirping, high musical notes, whistles or squeaks. Even at low volumes a man’s voice, thunder, and bass musical notes, might be relatively easy to detect.

Causes of High-Frequency Hearing Loss

Frequently imperceptible at first, high-frequency hearing loss, the most widespread kind of hearing loss, can sneak up on you as you get older. Apart from aging, too much noise exposure, certain medications and numerous medical conditions including cardiovascular disease can lead to high-frequency hearing loss.

The little hair-like sensors in the cochlea are damaged by all of these situations. It’s these tiny cells that receive sound input and send it to the brain for processing. The higher pitched sounds are often the first to be difficult to understand because the high-frequency cells get damaged more easily than the lower pitched cells.

high-frequency Hearing Loss, How to Prevent it

You can do several things to slow or stop the development of high-frequency hearing loss even though you can’t stop your ears from growing older. Including these:

  • If you take any medication, ask your doctor if it has any effect on hearing. At least 200 different varieties of medications can cause or worsen high-frequency hearing loss. Your hearing can even be injured by high doses of aspirin. Check with your doctor to determine if there are options less likely to injure your hearing. Stay in close touch with your hearing health care provider if you can’t abstain from using a certain medication. Treating hearing loss early can help avoid further loss.
  • Looking for quiet things. Find noise ratings on appliances and pick the quietest models. If it’s hard to hear your friends at dinner, don’t be scared to ask the manager to turn down the music.
  • When getting rid of earwax, never use a swab or any other small object. This can jam old ear wax into your ear canal and blunt your ability to hear. A hot shower is usually enough o drain exes earwax but if this doesn’t work ask your hearing professional for other methods of irrigating your ears.
  • Wearing hearing protection in noisy situations.A definite sign that your ears might be getting damaged is if you need to shout to be heard in a loud setting. Some examples of times when wearing ear protection are live music concerts, engines revving, power tools running, and a loud stereo. Noise canceling earphone might not fit inside your pocket, but they can be the best choice in some scenarios.
  • Your health is important so take care of it. Smoking can harm your hearing. Poor health, poor nutrition, or not enough exercise can also hurt your hearing. Try to take good care of your health in all ways and this will protect your hearing as well.

Treatment For High-Frequency Hearing Loss

Hearing aids are at this time the most effective method for treating high-frequency hearing loss. And there are various models to choose from because this is the most widespread type of hearing loss. Hearing aids can enhance high-pitched sounds so they are crisper to the user. Several models can be configured and your hearing professional can help fine-tune them to increase your ability to hear those sounds at the correct level, directly 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 situations such as business meetings, restaurant dinners, talking on the phone or listening to children.

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

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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.