An extremely common form of hearing loss is known as high-frequency hearing loss. People who suffer from this condition find it difficult to hear high-pitch sounds which can be frustrating as it affects their daily lives. In this article, we’re exploring the causes, symptoms and treatments of high-frequency hearing loss.
The Symptoms of High-Frequency Hearing Loss
High-frequency hearing loss makes it difficult to hear certain sounds and speech patterns, making conversations seem muffled. This is especially prevalent when talking on the phone, watching television or sitting in a noisy environment. Many patients with high-frequency hearing loss say that they can hear sounds but struggle to understand them.
The symptoms of high-frequency hearing loss include:
- Struggling to understand women and children when they speak
- Not hearing birds chirping outside
- Words that start or end with s, h, f or th are harder to hear
- Feeling like you can hear but cannot understand
What Causes High-Frequency Hearing Loss?
High-frequency hearing loss occurs when the tiny hairs in your cochlea are damaged. These hairs are responsible for translating the sounds your ear collects and turning them into electrical signals that the brain interprets as intelligible noises. Damage to the hair cells is irreversible so preventing further destruction (link to page 7) is an important part of treatment.
There is no specific age group that is more commonly affected by high-frequency hearing loss than others. It can occur at any age from a huge range of causes.
Age-Related Hearing Loss
Known as presbycusis, age-related hearing loss is a slow process that typically affects both ears in equal measures. One of the first signs of presbycusis is difficulty understanding people speaking when there is any background noise in the environment.
Over-Exposure to Loud Noises
Noise-induced hearing loss is highly common among people of all ages. Damage can occur due to one event, such as a gunshot or explosion, or it can occur gradually from exposure to sounds over 85 decibels. This is often caused by loud music (link to page 2) or working environments.
If hearing loss is in your family history, there is a chance you will be genetically predisposed to developing it as well. It’s important to check your family history of hearing loss so you can be cautious and take preventative measures in loud environments.
There are many medications that are ototoxic, meaning they cause damage to your hearing. Aspirin is the most common culprit, followed by some antidepressants, antibiotics and chemotherapy treatments.
Treating High-Frequency Hearing Loss
The first step towards treatment is booking a thorough hearing test with a hearing specialsit such as Health and Hearing. Although high-frequency hearing loss is usually irreversible, hearing aids have proven to work extremely well in minimising the symptoms.
Your audiologist in Brisbane will record the extent of your hearing loss and make recommendations for hearing aids that will best suit your condition. Wearing hearing aids will make your daily life more comfortable, and they can even prevent further damage from strain. You can book a free consultation by calling (07) 3366 9355 or contacting us online.