Do you have trouble understanding conversations when you are in a crowd? Do you find yourself frequently asking people to speak up? If you do, then you may be living with high frequency hearing loss. This type of hearing loss is permanent but can be managed with the use of hearing aids. Here are some high frequency hearing loss treatment options.
What is High Frequency Hearing Loss?
“High-frequency hearing loss means that high-pitched sounds are harder to hear,” Shannon Basham, AuD, senior director of audiology and education at Phonak in Illinois tells WebMD Connect to Care.
Sounds are made up of low and high pitches. The high pitch part of the sound is what makes the sound clear to the listener. High frequency hearing loss limits your ability to clearly understand high-pitched sounds. So, you may be able to hear sounds or conversations but they may seem unclear and muddled.
High-pitched sounds are sounds that are at frequencies of 2,000 hertz (the unit by which sound is measured) or higher. These include:
- Part of the typical range of female and children’s voices
- Chirping of birds
- High notes in music
- Consonants spoke at a higher pitch, such as F,S,H
- Noisy or crowded areas
High frequency hearing loss is sensorineural which means it happens when delicate outer hairs of your inner ear get damaged. This damage can happen due to:
- Ear injury or infections
- Loud noise
- Family history
“Usually the damage is permanent, and slowly progressive, as there is currently no way to restore dead hair cells of the inner ear”, Rachel Raphael, MA, CCC-A, an audiologist from Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore tells WebMD Connect to Care.
Treatment for High Frequency Hearing Loss
“The best treatment option is hearing aids”, Raphael says. Most hearing aids are digital and more sophisticated than ever before. Their advanced technology adjust sound signals based on your degree of hearing loss and offers better hearing loss management, according to the Mayo Clinic. “Often, open-fit miniature, behind the ear aids are recommended as they boost high frequency sounds, giving you clarity in the sounds you hear,” Raphael says.
Many hearing aids can be paired to cell phones, blue tooth device accessories, and apps to improve their performance, according to Raphael.
High frequency hearing loss can make people feel isolated. “People often tend to withdraw from conversations and social situations”, Basham says. If you are experiencing any symptoms of hearing loss it is important that you get in touch with a qualified audiologist to understand possible causes and treatment options.
Hearing Loss Can Be Treated and Managed.
In many cases, hearing loss is a treatable condition. It is worth taking the time out to get the answers and treatment you or your loved one deserves. Don’t wait. Start today.