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 volume. It’s likely you have some degree of high-frequency hearing loss if you can comprehend what the men in the room are saying but you can’t hear women and children. This is a very prevalent kind of hearing loss so you’re not alone.

high-frequency Hearing Loss Warning Signs

With high-frequency hearing loss, you might still be able to pick up the volume of a woman’s voice or a child’s voice, but consonant sounds that allow conversations to be easily understood, get muddled. Normally the most difficult 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. Losing the ability to distinguish these sounds makes it very hard to understand a child’s joke or your sister’s question about dinner plans. This can lead to frustration, despair and social isolation from your circle of family and friends.

Other sounds within the high-frequency hearing loss range (2000 Hz) are missed by people with this problem. This includes high musical notes, birds chirping, and squeaks or whistles. Low-frequency sounds like bass musical notes, the rumble of thunder or a man’s voice might still be fairly easy to detect, even if the volume isn’t very loud.

Reasons For High-Frequency Hearing Loss

As the most common type of loss of hearing, high-frequency hearing loss can sneak up on people as they age, frequently imperceptibly at first. high-frequency hearing loss can be caused by other things besides aging like some medical conditions like cardiovascular disease, excessive noise exposure, and several medications.

The tiny hair-like sensors in the cochlea are injured by all of these situations. Sound input is picked up by these tiny cells and sent to the brain for processing. The high-frequency sensory cells are more susceptible to injury than the low-frequency sensory cells, and this is why the higher-pitched sounds are frequently the first to be difficult to comprehend.

high-frequency Hearing Loss, How to Prevent it

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

  • Never using a swab (or other small objects) to get rid of ear wax. Your capacity to hear becomes blunted when you push old earwax against your eardrum. Carefully clean out excessive earwax with a cloth when you’re done showering, or ask your hearing professional about different ear irrigation techniques for removing earwax without hurting your hearing.
  • In noisy surroundings, use hearing protection.A sure indication that your ears could be getting injured is if you need to yell to be heard in a noisy environment. Heavy traffic, motorcycles revving, power tools running, the loud stereo systems at movies or rock concerts are all examples of times when popping in the ear-protection is a smart idea. Noise-canceling headphones are also a good solution in certain scenarios, but may not fit inside your pocket as easily as ear-plugs.
  • Ask your doctor about medications you take. At least 200 different varieties of medications can cause or worsen high-frequency hearing loss. Even aspirin at high doses can injure your hearing. Check with your doctor to determine if there are options less likely to damage your hearing. Stay in close touch with your hearing health care provider if you can’t avoid using a particular medication. Further hearing loss can be avoided by treatment.
  • Quieter things are better. Look for noise ratings on appliances and choose the quietest models. And don’t be reluctant to ask the restaurant manager to turn down the music if it’s hard to hear your dinner companions.
  • Your health is important so take good care of it. Your hearing can be damaged by smoking. Your hearing can also be injured by poor health due to poor nutrition. Maintain your hearing by taking care of your overall health.

Treatment For High-Frequency Hearing Loss

Currently, the most reliable technique for dealing with high-frequency hearing loss is hearing aids. And there are numerous designs to pick from because this is the most common type of hearing loss. So that they are crisper to the listener, hearing aids can increase high pitched sounds. You can directly address your level and extent of hearing loss by having your hearing care pro fine-tune your hearing aid to increase your ability to hear sounds at the right level. For circumstances like talking on the phone, listening to children, having dinner at a restaurant, or business meetings many hearing aids can be controlled by your phone and have directional microphones for fine-tuning.

If you suspect that you might be dealing with high-frequency hearing loss, schedule a hearing examination. If you want to improve your ability to hear your grandchild’s precious one-liner, chances are there are individually designed answers 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.