What is high-frequency hearing loss?

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If you are concerned about the noise you are exposed to on a regular basis, contact Sound Hearing Care at 864-881-1663 to meet with one of our hearing care specialists to discuss the best way to prevent hearing loss.

High-frequency hearing loss is a condition where people have difficulty hearing sounds in the 2,000 to 8,000 Hertz (Hz) range. People who have this type of hearing loss have a hard time hearing the consonants s, h, or f. They may also have problems understanding female and children’s voices as well as birds or a high-pitched beep of the microwave or washing machine. People may not understand why they can hear certain sounds more than others. Children that have high-frequency hearing loss may have difficulty learning to speak and it can affect their progress in school.

What is the cause of high-frequency hearing loss?

This type of hearing loss happens when the hair hearing cells in your cochlea die or get damaged. The sensory (hair) cells help translate sounds from your ear and turn them into electrical impulses that your brain interprets. The cochlea recognizes high-frequency sounds in the lower portion and low-frequency sounds in the bottom portion. This is why high-frequency sounds are the first that are affected by hearing loss.

What are some of the causes of high-frequency hearing loss?

  • Noise – Even hearing a loud noise, such as hearing a gunshot without ear protection, one time can cause hearing damage. Repeated exposure to loud sounds, such as an airplane engine, can also cause hearing loss.

  • Aging – When aging is the reason for a high-frequency hearing loss it usually happens gradually over time and both ears are equally affected. The first signs are difficulty hearing speech in noisy environments and not hearing high-frequency sounds.

  • Genetics – If you have a family history of hearing loss of any type, this puts you at a higher risk of developing it as well.

  • Medications – There are certain types of medication that can be harmful to your hearing health, which is called ototoxic drugs. Examples include salicylates (aspirin) in large quantities and drugs used in chemotherapy.

  • Diseases – Meniere’s disease can cause fluctuating hearing loss, tinnitus, and vertigo. Children that suffer from chronic ear infections can lead to hearing loss if left untreated. If your child has recurring chronic ear infections then speak then it is important to consult your child’s pediatrician or meet with an otologist for treatment before it affects their speech development.

How can you prevent high-frequency hearing loss?

Protecting your ears from exposure to noises higher than 85 decibels (dB) can help prevent any type of hearing loss, especially high-frequency. Wear hearing protection when you anticipate noisy situations such as music concerts, and keep the volume down when listening to music through earpieces. If you work in a noisy environment or attend loud gatherings regularly, then investing in a good pair of noise-canceling headphones or custom earmolds would be very beneficial.

How is high-frequency hearing loss treated?

Depending on the underlying cause of the high-frequency hearing loss it may be treatable, but if it isn’t curable then the good news is that hearing aids can help. The first step is having your hearing tested at Sound Hearing Care. If your hearing loss is determined that hearing aids would benefit you, then there are many options that will suit your hearing needs and your lifestyle.

Contact Sound Hearing Care for an appointment with one of our hearing care specialists. We have four convenient locations including Simpsonville, Greer, Travelers Rest, and Greenville.