Why Can I Hear Quiet Sounds But Not my Granddaughter’s Voice?

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

Hearing loss is about pitch as much as volume. It’s likely you have some degree of high-frequency hearing loss if you can comprehend what the men in the room are saying but you can’t hear women and children. This is a very common kind of hearing loss so you’re not alone.

high-frequency Hearing Loss Symptoms

With high-frequency hearing loss, consonant sounds that make conversations understandable, get muddled even though you may still be able to pick up on the volume of a woman or a child’s voice. Normally, consonant sounds such as t, th, ch, soft c, s, sh, f, k, and h are the most difficult to differentiate. So, it may sound like a woman or child is mumbling, even though they aren’t. Losing the ability to distinguish these sounds makes it very hard to understand a child’s joke or your sister’s question about dinner plans. Isolation from family and friends, sadness, and frustration can be the result.

Other sounds within the high-frequency hearing loss range (2000 Hz) are lost to people with this problem. This includes high musical notes, birds chirping, and squeaks or sirens. Low-frequency sounds such as bass musical notes, the rumble of thunder or a man’s voice may still be quite easy to discern, even if the volume isn’t very loud.

Causes of High-Frequency Hearing Loss

Often imperceptible at first, high-frequency hearing loss, the most common kind of hearing loss, can sneak up on you as you grow older. Other than aging, too much noise exposure, particular medications and a number of medical conditions like cardiovascular disease can result in high-frequency hearing loss.

The tiny hair-like sensors within the cochlea are harmed by all of these scenarios. It’s these tiny cells that pick up sound input and send it to the brain for processing. The high-frequency sensory cells are more prone to injury than the low-frequency sensory cells, and this is why the higher-pitched sounds are commonly the first to be difficult to understand.

high-frequency Hearing Loss, How to Prevent it

While you can’t prevent your ears from aging, there are quite a few steps you can take to prevent or at least slow down the progress of high-frequency hearing loss. Some of these include:

  • Your health is important so take good care of it. Smoking can injury your hearing. Poor health, poor nutrition, or not enough exercise can also harm your hearing. Preserve your hearing by taking care of your overall health.
  • Quieter things are better. Pick the quietest product by examining the noise rating of the appliances. If it’s hard to hear your friends at dinner, don’t be afraid to ask the manager to turn down the music.
  • If you take any medication, ask your doctor if it has any effect on hearing. high-frequency hearing loss can be caused by at least 200 different kinds of medications. Even too much aspirin can injure your hearing. consult your doctor to see if there are options less likely to injure your hearing. If you can’t avoid taking a specific medication, keep in close communication with your hearing care specialist for regular hearing loss and balance testing. Further hearing loss can be prevented by treatment.
  • Never utilizing a swab (or other small objects) to take out ear wax. This can jam old ear wax into your ear canal and blunt your ability to hear. Gently wash out excessive earwax with a washcloth after you shower, or ask your hearing professional about different ear irrigation techniques for removing earwax without injuring your hearing.
  • Using hearing protection in noisy spaces.A certain sign that your ears might be getting damaged is if you need to yell to be heard in a loud setting. Heavy traffic, engines revving, power tool sounds, the loud sound systems at movie theaters or rock concerts are all examples of occasions when popping in the ear-plugs is a smart idea. Noise canceling earphone may not fit inside your pocket, but they can be the best option in some situations.

Treatment For High-Frequency Hearing Loss

Hearing aids are currently the most effective method for treating high-frequency hearing loss. And there are various models to pick from since this is the most prevalent type of hearing loss. Hearing aids can augment high-pitched sounds so they are crisper to the listener. Several models are configurable and your hearing care expert can help fine-tune them to improve your ability to hear those sounds at the right level, immediately addressing the level and extent of the hearing loss. Many hearing aids can be controlled by your phone and come with directional microphones for fine-tuning in circumstances such as business meetings, restaurant dinners, talking on the phone or listening to children.

Schedule a hearing test if you suspect you may have high-frequency hearing loss. If you would like to improve your ability to hear your grandchild’s priceless one-liner, chances are there are individually designed answers for you.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.