Those who have high-frequency hearing loss have a much more difficult time living their lives, than the people who have normal hearing. But really, what is high-frequency loss? In this article, we’ll explain a little deeper this phenomenon that bothers millions of people worldwide. High-frequency hearing loss is the disability to hear high-pitched sounds. This means that a person cannot hear sounds and voices with a frequency in the 2000 – 8000 Hz range.
For example, a person might be able to hear the sound of a truck driving by the road, but he cannot hear his child speak, nor his spouse’s voice. Children and women often speak with such high-pitched voices that it is impossible for someone who suffers from high-frequency hearing losses to hear them. Often, typical high-pitched letters like ‘s’, ‘p’, ‘h’ go under the radar, this happens especially in phone conversations. People who cannot hear these sounds can say that the other person is just ‘mumbling’.
Typically, high-frequency hearing loss occurs more often to the older people, than to the younger ones. But age doesn’t dictate, that you’re suffering from this condition. The most common causes of high-frequency hearing losses, apart from age, are noise, diseases, infections, genetics and several medications. As you are getting older, your hearing gradually becomes less and less accurate.
This is just one way how your body works. For example, a 90-year-old person will hear less than an 18-year-old one. In the other hand, genetics play an important role in this condition. If one or several of your close relatives lost their hearing during their lives, chances that you will lose your hearing are bigger. Of course, this also depends on your DNK composition and many other factors. But in general, hearing loss is inevitable, including high-frequency hearing loss.
Being exposed to loud noises can also cause that your hearing becomes impaired. This depends on the workplace and the environment in which you work and from the volume of noise that you’re being exposed to. In the US, the recommended levels of noise are 8 hours or less of exposure to 85 dB(A), while it’s only 2 hours of exposure to 91 dB(A).
People who work in heavy industrialized workspaces, like construction sites, factories and plants are exposed to loud noises, and this could cause high-frequency hearing loss. Nowadays, the arrival of earphones and earplugs have caused a significant increase in hearing loss between adolescents.
Only in the US, 12.5% of 6-19-year-old have permanent hearing loss because of extreme noise exposure. The UN predicts that half of the population, between 12 – 35 years, are at risk of losing some of their hearing because of the loud audio devices. Various diseases, such as meningitis and Meniere’s disease, can cause high-frequency hearing losses. Also, some medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen, can cause hearing loss. An interesting study shows, that women who take ibuprofen 5-6 times a week are at a higher risk to develop hearing loss.
Treatment Options For High-Frequency Hearing Loss
If you have been diagnosed with high-frequency hearing loss, unfortunately, there is no way you are going to improve that part of your hearing. You have been subjected to permanent damage. However, you should always consult a qualified medical professional to get a diagnosis. Luckily, people who suffer from high-frequency hearing loss can improve their hearing with various hearing aids. Though, the suggested solutions can be expensive and complex.
You cannot just buy a hearing device, put it in your ear and think that you have solved all of your problems. It requires adjusting, fine-tuning and adaptation. Also, we can use various hearing implants. Again, the best way is to consult a medical professional about this. Most people who struggle with high-frequency hearing loss use something, which name is a receiver-in-the-ear with a dome.
This device doesn’t muffle the low-frequency sounds, that people with high-frequency hearing loss actually can hear. This makes it very convenient. As with a common hearing device, the receiver-in-the-ear device is programmed and adjusted. Depending on how long the person has high-frequency hearing loss, the time it takes to adjust using the device may vary.
Preventing High-Frequency Hearing Loss
The best way to prevent high-frequency hearing loss from occurring is, of course, to stay away from loud noises. Since most people find themselves in environments with loud noises, using ear protection gear will help a lot. Using ear protection will help them if they are working outside with lawnmowers and various other motorized devices.
When we are attending concerts, live events and nightclubs it’s always a good idea to use earplugs. Turn down the volume on your audio devices, such as your earplugs and earphones. Stay away, as much as possible, from the noise sources of 85 dB(A). Keep in mind that if you are staying a half distance away from a noise source, this will quadruple the effect, that the noise has on your ear. Immunization against various diseases, especially amongst children, this proved to reduce the risk of hearing loss, according to the UN.