High-Frequency Hearing Loss – Causes | Treatment | Prevention

Ranjeet KumarReviewed by Mr. Ranjeet Kumar Sr. Audiologist, Speech Therapist & Cochlear Implant Specialist, BASLP on May 8th, 2020 written by Editorial Team

Hearing disability or deafness is where an individual loses the capacity to hear. If you are experiencing halfway or complete hearing loss, you are not the only one.

A half or complete decrease in an individual’s capacity to hear sound from one or both ears is known as deafness or hearing loss.

You can purchase the latest hearing aids at a fair price through HearingSol, If you need any assistance or you have a query regarding High-Frequency Hearing Loss, feel free to call us at +91-9899437202. We are always here to help you.

It is also referred to as an invisible disability as it affects a person’s quality of life and emotional state as well. It is crucial to understand that hearing loss or impairment is different for different people and it has various types and conditions.

And in this article, we are going to discuss a hearing loss condition known as “High-Frequency Hearing Loss”.

So let’s start the discussion without wasting any more time.


What Is High-Frequency Hearing Loss?

Tragically, individuals experiencing this condition are likewise inclined to despondency, tension, social confinement, and other wellbeing conditions.

When the sensory hair cells in the cochlea die or get damaged, then it results in High-frequency hearing loss. It is sometimes referred to as Partial Deafness and is similar to Sensorineural Hearing Loss.

The hair cells translate the sound collected by ears into electrical impulses. The brain then eventually interprets it as a recognizable sound.

The hair cells which perceive the low-frequency sounds are located at the top whereas high-frequency sounds are perceived at the lower part of the cochlea.

This is the reason due to which hearing loss affects higher frequencies before lower frequencies. A person with high-frequency hearing loss will not be able to hear sound in 2,000 to 8,000 hertz (Hz) range.

Adults with such hearing loss have trouble understanding consonants such as S, H, or F, female voice, bird’s singing, or even the high pitched beep of a microwave oven.

While using a telephone or in a noisy situation, speech may seem muffled. Different professionals have a different take on this type of hearing loss, many people consider 1,000 Hz to be mid-level frequency.

There is a wide range of sound that can be classified as a high-frequency sound.


Causes of High-Frequency Hearing Loss

This type of hearing loss is not restricted to any age group. A person from any age bracket can be affected by this, having a varied reason for the cause:

1. Noise

In America, more than 10 million people have suffered irreversible damage due to Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), stated by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders(NIDCD).

More than 30-35 million people are exposed to dangerous levels of noise on a daily basis. It can be a result of one-time loud exposure to noise such as explosion or gunshot.

Or it can be gradual with constant exposure to noise louder than 85 decibels. Even listening to loud music can contribute to this.

2. Aging

Presbycusis is defined as the hearing loss occurring due to the aging process. As it is a very slow process, it affects both ears equally and, it is often difficult to notice.

The first sign is the inability to understand speech in a noisy environment and high-frequency sound.

3. Genetics

In some cases, it may be genetic, for which you should check your family history. If any of your relatives have developed high-frequency hearing loss, then you may be genetically predisposed to developing as well.

4. Diseases

In children, an untreated ear infection(chronic otitis media) can lead to hearing loss. If the child is suffering from any chronic or recurrent ear infection then consult your pediatrician or an otologist for treatment, before it affects speech and language development.

Meniere’s Disease affects the inner ear. It often occurs between 30-50 years of age. It may include tinnitus, fluctuating hearing loss, and vertigo, or intense dizziness.

5. Ototoxicity

Some drugs are harmful to hearing health, also known as Ototoxic. Ototoxic Drugs include salicylates(aspirin) or ibuprofen in large quantity.

Also, drugs used in chemotherapy treatments and aminoglycoside antibiotics can be harmful to hearing.

Some other causes of high-frequency hearing loss are diabetes, benign tumors, inflammation of the middle ear, and infection.


High-Frequency Hearing Loss Treatment

Most effective treatment for such condition is hearing aid therapy, as it can’t be treated medically. The hearing aid will amplify high pitched sounds that the person is not able to perceive, allowing them to understand speech noises clearly.

Some of the hearing aids come with different settings for conversations and directional microphones which allow them to move effortlessly between talking in groups, on the phone, or one-on-one.

As indicated by the researchers, most hearing aid wearers are satisfied with their devices and are enjoying a richer quality of life as compared to those without treatment.

This is so because of the drastic improvement in hearing aid technology over the past 10 years. The hearing aid has become more comfortable with great sound quality even in a noisy environment.

They can easily connect to any electronic device, including smartphones. Unlike earlier, nowadays hearing aids not only make the sound loud but are customizable to amplify for the only sounds you are missing – a boon for people with high-frequency hearing loss.

There are other tools within a hearing aid to assist this type of hearing loss. Along with hearing aid, a cochlear implant is another method which provides the solution for high-frequency hearing loss.

The next treatment method is the combination of two hearing loss solutions i.e. Electric Acoustic Stimulation, or EAS.

This unique hearing implant combines both electric stimulation for sending electric pulses directly to the nerve cells as a cochlear implant does, and acoustic amplification, like a hearing aid.

Electric Stimulation helps to reduce high-frequency sound while using acoustic amplification to take care of the low-frequency residual hearing.

Electric Stimulation can stimulate the cochlea even when no hair cells are present. This is done with a cochlear implant where an electrode array is designed specifically for high-frequency hearing loss.

As some hair cells are still working in the low-frequency region(i.e. “residual hearing”), taking full advantage of each and every one of these remaining hair cells will be the ultimate goal.

This is very different from CI but straightforward; turning up the volume. Amplified sounds are sent to cochlea along the natural hearing path, through the EAS system, just like a hearing aid.

In this way, both high-frequency and low-frequency hearing losses are treated as providing the best hearing.

There is one more technology which processes speech differently than noise will help to reduce the listening fatigue associated with high-frequency hearing loss, i.e. Cutting-edge technology.


Preventing High-Frequency Hearing Loss

The high-frequency hearing loss is not reversible but can be prevented using certain methods. One of the best methods is to protect your hearing from exposure to loud noise – especially higher than 85 decibels.

Turn down the volume of any electronic device you use, and use hearing protection in the noisy environment such as live concert, sports event, shooting range, when riding snowmobiles.

Earplugs for concerts can be used occasionally which are available at any local drugstore. If you are involved in noisy hobbies on a regular basis, consider investing in specialized hearing protection.

Such as noise-canceling headphones or custom-made earmolds, that can be purchased through many hearing healthcare professionals.

If you suspect having any level of hearing loss, do not delay. Consult a hearing health professional, and get your hearing tested to avoid further damage.

The hearing health professional will explain your test results using audiogram. An audiogram is a graph which displays your hearing at each frequency, or pitch, which is important for speech understanding.


High-Frequency Hearing Loss In Younger Generation

High-Frequency hearing loss can affect anyone regardless of their age, impacting the quality of life, creating anxiety, depression and social isolation.

If a child is in this condition, it can impede their ability to learning speech and language, also affecting their ability to excel in school.

Nowadays children are exposed to more and more hearing products through gadgets, technology, and devices. This could put more strain on children’s ears at a very young age.

This could be a factor could be responsible for the rise of teenagers who are suffering from high-frequency hearing loss.


How To Know If You Are Suffering From High-Frequency Hearing Loss?

Answer the following questions to get information about your hearing:

  1. Do you face any problem while talking to multiple people at once?
  2. Do you have any difficulty trying to understand telephone conversation?
  3. Does speech seem muffed?
  4. Are you able to hear properly while the doorbell rings or birds singing?
  5. Do you face any difficulty trying to understand female voice?

If most of the answers are a ‘Yes’, then consult your hearing professional as soon as possible and get your hearing test done.

You can purchase the latest hearing aids at a fair price through HearingSol, If you need any assistance or you have a query regarding High-Frequency Hearing Loss, feel free to call us at +91-9899437202. We are always here to help you.


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