4 Important Sounds You’re Missing With Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss

Here’s one thing most people are surprised to discover: in most cases of hearing loss, people can hear a number of sounds without any problem, and have a hard time only with certain sounds.

In particular, if you have difficulty only with high-pitched sounds, you may suffer from the most common kind of hearing loss, known as high-frequency hearing loss.

With high-frequency hearing loss, you can in all probability hear lower-pitched sounds normally, creating the impression that your hearing is normal. Higher-pitched sounds, on the other hand, may not be detected at all.

So which frequencies should you be able to hear with standard hearing?

To begin with, sound can be classified both by its intensity (calculated in decibels) and by its frequency or pitch (measured in Hertz).

With normal hearing, you’d have the ability to hear sounds inside the frequency range of 20 to 20,000 Hertz, but the most important sounds are inside the range of 250 to 6,000 Hz. Within that range, you would be able to hear most frequencies at a relatively low volume of around 0-25 decibels.

With high-frequency hearing loss, you might be able to hear the lower frequencies at fairly low volumes (0-25 decibels), but you wouldn’t be able to hear the higher frequency sounds without raising the volume (by as high as 90 decibels with profound hearing loss).

So which higher-pitched sounds, specifically, would you have difficulty hearing with high-frequency hearing loss?

Here are four:

1. Consonants

Speech features a mix of both low and high frequency sounds.

Vowel sounds, such as the short “o” in the word “hot,” have low frequencies and are typically easy to hear even with hearing loss.

Problems emerge with consonants like “s,” “h,” and “f,” which have higher frequencies and are much harder to hear. Since consonants present most of the meaning in speech, it’s not surprising that those with high frequency hearing loss have trouble following conversations or TV show plots.

2. The voices of women and children

For the large number of men who have been accused of ignoring their wives or of having “selective hearing,” they may for once have a valid excuse.

Women and children tend to have higher-pitched voices with less amplitude, or loudness. As a result, people with hearing loss might find it easier to hear the male voice.

Several of our patients do complain about not hearing their grandkids, and this will oftentimes be the key incentive for a hearing test.

3. The chirping of birds

The sounds of birds chirping are generally in the higher frequencies, which means you may stop hearing these sounds entirely.

In fact, we’ve had patients specifically describe their surprise when they could hear the sounds of birds once again with their new hearing aids.

4. Certain musical instruments

The flute, the violin, and other musical instruments capable of generating high frequency sounds can be challenging to hear for people with hearing loss.

Music generally does tend to lose some of its power in those with hearing loss, as specific instruments and frequencies cannot be differentiated.

How hearing aids can help

In addition to the above, you may have trouble hearing many other sounds, like rustling leaves, rainfall, and the sound of flowing water.

But it’s not impossible to get these sounds back.

The key to treating high-frequency hearing loss is in amplifying only the specified frequencies you have trouble hearing. That’s why it’s crucial to select the right hearing aids and to have them programmed by a seasoned professional.

If you amplify the incorrect frequencies, or even worse amplify all frequencies, you’re not going to get the results you desire.

If you believe you may have high-frequency hearing loss, give us a call today. Our seasoned hearing professionals will meticulously test your hearing, identify the frequencies you have trouble with, and program your hearing aids for optimal hearing.

Are you ready to start enjoying your favorite sounds again?

The Health Benefits of Better Hearing

Family at the beach

It’s often suggested that we don’t completely appreciate the things we have until they’re gone, and this seems to be particularly true of our ability to hear. Hearing loss is not only tough to detect; it’s also tough to appreciate just how much hearing enhances our lives.

As one of our main senses, along with vision, hearing effects our mental, social, and physical health, so when we lose our hearing, we put our overall welfare in jeopardy. But repairing our hearing can have several health benefits that we never really stop to think about.

Here are three ways restoring your ability to hear can enhance your social, mental, and physical health.

Hearing and Relationships

The foundation of any good relationship is communication, and with hearing loss, that foundation is destabilized. Miscommunication, hard-feelings, and avoidance can all occur from hearing loss and the barrier to communication it builds.

Hearing loss can be especially troublesome to a marriage, as Julie and Charlie Kraft had to find out the hard way.

For most of Charlie’s adult life, he has had a common form of hearing loss known as high-frequency hearing loss, in which he has trouble hearing high-pitched sounds. And because the female voice is higher-pitched than the male voice, Charlie had a particularly tough time hearing his wife.

But because Charlie wasn’t aware of his hearing loss, he thought his wife Julie merely talked too quietly, which was aggravating for him. At the same time, Julie thought Charlie spoke too loudly—not to mention that she always had to repeat herself—which was frustrating for her.

In this manner, hearing loss brings about a frustrating barrier to communication where both people harbor bad feelings towards one another.

In Charlie and Julie’s example, they had the good sense to identify the hearing loss and to take action to deal with it. After Charlie began wearing hearing aids, he no longer had to speak so loudly, and he started hearing new sounds, like the sounds of birds on the golf course. But the one perk he claimed he cherished the most was the enhanced communication he had with his wife.

Julie concurred, and both conveyed how much stronger their relationship is without the weight of hearing loss.

Hearing and Physical Health

Does wearing hearing aids tend to make you more active?

The answer is yes, according to a survey performed by Hear The World Foundation, which found that 21 percent of those interviewed stated that they exercised more after buying hearing aids. Additionally, 34 percent said they regularly take part in sports at least once per week, and 69 percent feel that their hearing aids have a favorable effect on their general health.

Hearing loss can make communication challenging to the point where people tend to avoid the social gatherings and activities that they used to enjoy. With hearing aids, you can pursue these activities with confidence, leading to more exercise and enhanced physical health.

Hearing and Mental Health

In a recent study, researchers from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) discovered a strong link between hearing loss and depression among US adults of all ages.

Other studies by Johns Hopkins University have connected hearing loss to general cognitive decline, including memory problems as well as an increased risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Clearly, the lack of sound stimulation to the brain with hearing loss causes several negative effects, leading to an increased risk of depression, social isolation, and mental decline. But the good news is, studies have also shown that wearing hearing aids can reverse or prevent many of these issues.

How Has Better Hearing Improved YOUR Life?

Statistics are one thing; stories of real people reaping the benefits of improved hearing are quite another.

If you wear hearing aids, let us know in a comment below how your life, relationships, and/or physical or mental health has improved! You may end up inspiring someone else to take the first steps toward better hearing.

6 Encouraging Things Wearing Hearing Aids Says About You

Family at the beach

It remains a puzzle as to why wearing a pair of glasses—which correct vision impairment—is perceived as a sign of intelligence, while wearing hearing aids—which treat hearing impairment—has been perceived as an indication of old age.

Maybe it’s about time the stigma of hearing loss is reversed, and we redefine what it means for our bodies to work together with technology.

The question is, when you look at someone using a pair of hearing aids, what do you think?

Here are 6 of the favorable things we think wearing hearing aids says about you.

1. You enjoy living an active life

Most social gatherings and activities require healthy hearing, while hanging out alone at home does not. Wearing hearing aids is therefore a sign that you like to be active and social, and that you’re not going to allow hearing loss stop you from pursuing your favorite activities.

2. You’re an open-minded, proactive problem solver

When you’re confronted with difficult problems or obstacles, you find ways to overcome them. You don’t sit around feeling sorry for yourself or assert a stubborn denial of the problem—you’re open-minded enough to admit to your hearing loss and practical enough to treat it.

3. You’re tech-savvy

Today’s digital hearing aids are like tiny computers, furnished with impressive features like wireless connectivity, bluetooth streaming, directional microphones, and background noise reduction.

By wearing a pair of modern hearing aids, it illustrates that you are on the leading-edge of technology, eager to experience the advantages that new technology has to offer.

4. You’re health conscious

Several new studies, particularly from Jonhs Hopkins University, have connected hearing loss to significant medical ailments such as depression, general cognitive decline, memory issues, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Wearing hearing aids indicates that you value living an all-around healthy lifestyle, proactively taking the steps required for a lengthy, healthy life—physically, mentally, and emotionally.

5. You value your relationships

You recognize that the framework for any healthy relationship is strong communication, and you’re not going to let hearing loss create a barrier between you and those you love.

Your relationships are just too significant to allow hearing loss to create instances of miscommunication, misunderstanding, and the hassle of others always needing to repeat themselves.

6. You’re self-confident

You’re not trying to hide the reality that you wear hearing aids—you’re proud of it. You like to live an active, sociable life and you’re proud that you’ve taken the steps to secure your own quality of life.

In fact, many hearing aid users have reported greater performance at work, and research by the Better Hearing Institute reveals that hearing aid users reported higher household income than those with untreated hearing loss.

What do hearing aids say about you?

What did we forget? What would you add to the list?

There are many reasons to proudly wear hearing aids: let us know in a comment some of the reasons you wear hearing aids so we can keep the list going.

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