What is High Frequency Hearing Loss?
There are various types of hearing loss. High frequency hearing loss is hearing loss that affects your ability to hear higher-pitch sounds. When you have high frequency hearing loss, you can not hear higher frequencies of 2,000Hz or higher. People of all ages can be affected by this type of hearing loss, but it is most prevalent in older adults and those exposed to loud noises.
People who have high frequency hearing loss have a difficult time hearing women and children as well as higher-pitch sounds like birds chirping. It can be difficult to hear the television, over the phone, or in noisy environments because sound comes back muffled. It can also be hard to hear as s, h, or f, which are spoken in higher pitch ranges. Those with high frequency hearing loss have mentioned that it feels like they can hear but not understand.
How Hearing Works
To register sound, there are several actions happening inside your ear. Sound travels through your ear canal and causes fluid in your ears to vibrate. These vibrations are picked up by hair-like sensory cells in your inner ear and are translated into electrical signals. These electrical signals are then picked up by the auditory nerve and are finally sent to the brain, where it’s processed as sound.
For those who have high frequency hearing loss, the sensory hearing cells in the inner ear are damaged and cannot pick up high frequencies that travel through the ear.
Causes of High Frequency Hearing Loss
Noise Exposure: Repeated exposure to loud noise can damage our inner ear, resulting in noise-induced hearing loss and/or tinnitus, ringing in the ear. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), repeated exposure to noise above 85 decibels is dangerous and can lead to hearing loss. For your reference, 85 decibels is the sound of heavy city traffic or a lawnmower.
Aging: Age-related hearing loss is common among older adults. This type of hearing loss can be gradual, so it might be hard to notice at first. One of the first signs that you may have high-frequency hearing loss is difficulty hearing speech in noisy environments.
Diseases: Meniere’s disease can lead to hearing loss, tinnitus, and intense dizziness. It typically affects more people in their 40’s and 50’s. Other diseases or illnesses can cause hearing loss.
Genetics: Genetics can be a major factor in causing this type of hearing loss. Check your family history to see if you might be more at-risk for hearing loss.
Medications: Certain medications and drugs can be ototoxic, or harmful to your hearing health. Be mindful and aware if you need to take ototoxic drugs for medication.
Options for Addressing High Frequency Hearing Loss
Hearing Aids: High frequency hearing loss is typically irreversible, but many people use hearing aids to help them hear, and they are effective for this type of hearing loss. There are several different types including completely-in-canal (CIC), in-the-ear (ITE), in-the-canal (ITC), behind-the-ear (BTE), and receiver-in-canal (RIC). Please consult your doctor or hearing professional for your best options for hearing aids.
Sound Therapy: AudioCardio is data and science backed mobile app that utilizes proprietary Threshold Sound Conditioning technology to deliver personalized “silent and barely audible” sound therapies designed to maintain and strengthen your hearing. More than 75% of participants in a Stanford study showed a significant impact on hearing.
Preventing Hearing Loss
It is important to be proactive in protecting and maintaining your hearing health. Loud noise exposure can be very damaging, so make sure that you are doing what you can to minimize risks for hearing loss such as wearing ear plugs at loud events and keeping volume levels at a safe level. Here are some of AudioCardio’s recommended high-fidelity earplugs for loud events.
To conclude, high frequency hearing loss is when you can’t hear higher pitches or frequencies. If you suspect you might have hearing loss, please consult a doctor or hearing professional to take a hearing test and explore your options.
AudioCardio is a technology company focused on hearing health and wellness. Learn how AudioCardio can help maintain and strengthen your hearing with your favorite headphones or hearing aids at www.audiocardio.com.