What is High Frequency Hearing Loss ?
We hear thanks to the tiny hair cells inside the ear, which receive the sound signals that gets send to the brain which interprets them. If any sort of damage happens to these hairs inside inner ear, it is permanent as these hairs can not be replaced and they don’t regenerate. The more we lose them, the worst hearing loss we suffer.
Sounds are measured through the amount of vibrations per cycle(in seconds), using the measurement for frequency, Hertz (Hz). In a the most simplest manner explained, the higher pitched sounds vibrate faster and the low ones, slower. Depending on the type of damage to your ear you can lose ability to hear high, low pitched sounds, or both. Before we move on to talk about high frequency hearing loss, we want to emphasize the importance of having your ears checked by audiologist in any case of hearing loss. When you are looking for hearing aid, you wan’t to know exactly what type suits your needs. You don’t want your hearing aid amplifying sounds that you already hear well. An audiologist will determine the type of the hearing loss that you are suffering and point you towards the hearing aid kit that really suits your needs.
Causes of High Frequency Hearing Loss
Normally people hear the sounds ranging from 20 Hz to 20 kHz, but this naturally changes as the part of the aging process. Our hearing serves us best till age 8, after which it slowly decays. At age of 25 we already can’t hear the sounds over 15 kHz, and this is considered as normal aging caused hearing loss.
But age is the least problem when it comes to hearing loss. Today we live in very loud environment. Everywhere we go, we are surrounded by some sort of loud machinery. Occupational hearing loss is very common, especially in professions like construction, law enforcement, military, farming, lumber jacking etc…
Young people today usually have some sort of device that reproduce music. But they don’t pay attention to the volume when they listen to music, which can over the course of time cause serious damages to your hearing. Loud music can really hurt your ears especially in loud clubs or concerts.
So as you see the main cause of high frequency hearing loss is actually prolonged exposure to loud sounds, so the best thing you can do is wear earplugs when working in a loud environment, and not to listen to music on max volume.
The main symptoms of high frequency hearing loss is the difficulty of hearing the high pitched sounds like “th” and “s” . Also the women voices are harder to understand, and conversations in general sound muffled, causing you to have trouble understanding a normal conversation. You might ask people to repeat themselves. Certain sounds also become more loud then others.
Since the hairs inside the ear can not grow back or get replaced, the only way to compensate this type of hearing loss is to have a hearing aid. These devices, can boost those sounds that are lacking and give you back the ability to hear these sounds more clearly, and enjoy conversations, like you used to. As we said already it is crucial that you consult audiologist before getting any sort of hearing aid.