Why Can’t I Hear my Granddaughter’s Voice But I Can Hear Soft Sounds?

Woman talking with her granddaughter at a pier now that she is not suffering from high-frequency hearing loss.

Hearing loss is not simply about volume, it’s also about pitch. If you find it hard to understand the speech of a child or a woman, but you can still, for the most part, understand the men in the room, you might have some level of high-frequency hearing loss. This is a very common type of hearing loss so you’re not alone.

Warning Signs of High-Frequency Hearing Loss

With high-frequency hearing loss, consonant sounds that make conversations understandable, get muddled even though you might still be able to register the volume of a woman or a child’s voice. Usually, consonant sounds like t, th, ch, soft c, s, sh, f, k, and h are the hardest to differentiate. So, it might sound like a woman or child is mumbling, even though they aren’t. Losing the ability to differentiate these sounds makes it very difficult to understand a child’s joke or your sister’s question about dinner plans. This can result in frustration, despair and social isolation from your circle of family and friends.

People with high-frequency hearing loss also miss other sounds falling within the high-frequency range (2000 Hz and higher). This includes high musical notes, birds chirping, and squeaks or whistles. Even at low volumes a man’s voice, thunder, and bass musical notes, might be relatively easy to detect.

Causes of High-Frequency Hearing Loss

Frequently imperceptible at first, high-frequency hearing loss, the most prevalent kind of hearing loss, can sneak up on you as you age. In addition to aging, too much noise exposure, particular medications and a number of medical problems like cardiovascular disease can lead to high-frequency hearing loss.

The tiny hair-like sensors within the cochlea are damaged by all of these scenarios. Sound input is received by these tiny cells and delivered to the brain for processing. The high-frequency sensory cells are more prone to damage than the low-frequency sensory cells, and this is why the higher-pitched sounds are frequently the first to become difficult to understand.

How to Avoid High-Frequency Hearing Loss

While you can’t prevent your ears from getting older, there are several things you can do to stop or at least slow the progression of high-frequency hearing loss. Some of these include:

  • Caring for your overall health. Your hearing can be injured by smoking. Poor health, poor nutrition, or lack of exercise can also hurt your hearing. Try to take good care of your health in all aspects and this can protect your hearing also.
  • Quieter things are more ideal. Look for noise ratings on appliances and choose the quietest models. If it’s tough to hear your friends at dinner, don’t be afraid to ask the manager to turn the music down.
  • Never using a swab (or other small objects) to take out ear wax. Your capacity to hear is blunted when you jam old earwax against your eardrum. Carefully wipe out excessive earwax with a cloth after you shower, or ask your hearing professional about different ear irrigation techniques for eliminating earwax without injuring your hearing.
  • In noisy settings, wear hearing protection.A sure indication that your ears might be getting injured is if you have to shout to be heard in a loud environment. Heavy traffic, engines revving, power tools running, the loud sound systems at movies or live music concerts are all examples of occasions when putting in the ear-protection is a good idea. Noise canceling earphone may not fit inside your pocket, but they can be the best option in some situations.
  • If you use any medication, ask your doctor if it has any impact on hearing. At least 200 different kinds of medications will cause or worsen high-frequency hearing loss. Your hearing can even be harmed by too much aspirin. Check with your doctor to see if there are choices less likely to harm your hearing. If you can’t avoid using a specific medication, keep in close contact with your hearing professional for regular hearing loss and balance testing. Additional hearing loss can be avoided by treatment.

Treatment For High-Frequency Hearing Loss

Hearing aids are at this time the most effective strategy for treating high-frequency hearing loss. And since this is the most common kind of hearing loss, there are many different models a person can pick from. So that they are crisper to the user, hearing aids can increase high pitched sounds. Several models can be configured and your hearing care expert can help fine-tune them to improve your ability to hear those sounds at the correct level, directly addressing the level and degree of the hearing loss. For circumstances like talking on the phone, listening to children, having dinner at a restaurant, or business meetings many hearing aids can be manipulated by your phone and have directional microphones for fine-tuning.

If you think that you may have high-frequency hearing loss, schedule a hearing test. If you would like to enhance your ability to hear your grandchild’s priceless one-liner, odds are there are personally tailored answers for you.

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