High-frequency hearing loss is one of the most common types of hearing loss. If someone is diagnosed with high-frequency hearing loss, it means they have difficulty hearing sounds that are higher in pitch, like the sound of women’s and children’s voices. Anyone of any age can be affected by high-frequency hearing loss, but it is most common for older adults and those exposed to unsafe noise levels.
What Are the Symptoms of High-Frequency Hearing Loss?
People suffering from high-frequency hearing loss typically exhibit the usual symptoms of hearing loss – like turning up the TV much louder than others need it, having trouble talking on the phone and asking people to repeat themselves often. Other symptoms specific to high-frequency hearing loss include:
- Struggling to hear certain consonants (like s, h and f) because they are spoken at a higher pitch than other sounds
- Speech sounding muffled, especially in noisy backgrounds
- Difficulty hearing women and children’s voices
- Cannot hear birds chirping
- Feeling like you can hear, but not understand
How Is High-Frequency Hearing Loss Diagnosed?
High-frequency hearing loss can be diagnosed with a hearing test in an audiologist’s office. During a hearing test, you’ll sit in a soundproof booth at an audiology clinic. During a pure-tone test, the audiologist plays a series of beeps at various volumes and pitches, and you’ll indicate whenever you hear one. During a speech test, the audiologist will repeat the test but with words, and you’ll say the words back to them.
The results of your hearing test are plotted on an audiogram, which is a graph that shows what pitches you can hear at various volumes. In cases of high-frequency hearing loss, the points on the graph will slope to the right, indicating difficulty hearing frequencies between 2,000 and 8,000 Hertz. The audiogram will also indicate whether your loss is mild, moderate, severe or profound.
What Causes High-Frequency Hearing Loss?
There are many potential causes of high-frequency hearing loss. These include:
- Noise exposure
- Certain medications (like aspirin in large quantities, chemotherapy drugs and aminoglycoside antibiotics)
- Diseases (like Meniere’s disease)
For more information about high-frequency hearing loss or to schedule an appointment for a hearing test, call the Tinnitus & Hearing Experts today!