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 it’s hard to understand the speech of a woman or a child, but you can still, for the most part, understand the men in the room, you may have some level of high-frequency hearing loss. This is a very prevalent type of hearing loss so you’re not alone.

high-frequency Hearing Loss Symptoms

With high-frequency hearing loss, consonant sounds that allow conversations to be understood, get muddled even though you may still be able to register the volume of a woman or a child’s voice. Normally the hardest to differentiate are consonant sounds like ch, th, t, soft s, c, sh, k, f, and h. 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 differentiate these sounds. This can lead to frustration, depression and social isolation from your circle of friends and family.

Other sounds within the high-frequency hearing loss range (2000 Hz) are lost to people with this problem. This includes high musical notes, birds chirping, and squeaks or whistles. 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

Usually imperceptible at first, high-frequency hearing loss, the most widespread type of hearing loss, can sneak up on you as you get older. Other than aging, too much noise exposure, select medications and numerous medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease can result in high-frequency hearing loss.

The little hair-like sensors inside the cochlea are damaged by all of these scenarios. It’s these tiny cells that pick up sound input and send it to the brain for processing. The higher pitched sounds are commonly the first to be hard to understand because the high-frequency cells get injured more easily than the lower pitched cells.

How to Avoid High-Frequency Hearing Loss

While you can’t stop your ears from aging, there are many things you can do to stop or at least slow down the progression of high-frequency hearing loss. Including these:

  • When getting rid of earwax, never use a swab or any other small object. This can push old ear wax into your ear canal and blunt your capacity to hear. Gently wash out excess earwax with a washcloth after you shower, or ask your hearing professional about other ear irrigation techniques for eliminating earwax without damaging your hearing.
  • In noisy circumstances, wear hearing protection. If you have to yell to be heard in a noisy environment, this is a certain indication the noise could damage your hearing. Heavy traffic, motorcycles revving, power tool sounds, the loud stereo systems at movies or rock concerts are all examples of times when putting in the ear-protection is a good idea. Noise canceling headphone might not fit inside your pocket, but they are the best option in certain situations.
  • Your health is important so take care of it. Smoking can damage your hearing. Poor health, poor nutrition, or lack of exercise can also harm your hearing. Try to take good care of your health in all aspects and this will protect your hearing as well.
  • If you take 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. Even aspirin at high doses can injure your hearing. Check with your doctor to find out if there are possibilities less likely to injure your hearing. Stay in close contact with your hearing health care provider if you can’t avoid taking a particular medication. Further hearing loss can be avoided by treatment.
  • Looking for quiet things. Select the quietest product by examining 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 friends at dinner.

Treatment For High-Frequency Hearing Loss

Presently, the most effective strategy for dealing with high-frequency hearing loss is hearing aids. And because this is the most common type of hearing loss, there are many different models a person can choose from. Hearing aids can boost high-pitched sounds so they are crisper to the user. You can directly manage your level and degree 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. For situations such as talking on the phone, listening to children, having dinner at a restaurant, or business meetings several hearing aids can be controlled by your phone and have directional microphones for fine-tuning.

Make an appointment for a hearing test if you suspect you might have high-frequency hearing loss. If you would like to enhance your ability to hear your grandchild’s precious one-liner, odds are there are personally tailored solutions 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.


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