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During a hearing test, the audiologist will test your ability to hear across a variety of frequencies. Most tests will start on frequencies as low as 250 Hz and reach frequencies as high as 8000 Hz. If you're unable to hear sounds on the higher frequency levels, you may have high frequency hearing loss. Here's a look at what you should know about high frequency hearing loss and how to deal with it.
Struggles with High Frequency Hearing Loss
When you lose hearing at the higher frequency levels, it can make normal conversation difficult, because the sounds of letters like f, h and s are all on the high frequency range. This can be a struggle for adults both at work and in social situations.
For kids, it may lead to problems with education. Kids who have high frequency hearing loss will have trouble differentiating some sounds in the classroom, which can lead to misunderstandings and missed information in school.
Causes of High Frequency Hearing Loss
Like other types of hearing loss, physical damage to your ear is one of the most common causes of high frequency hearing loss. Prolonged exposure to loud noises without ear protection is the most common culprit. For adults, working in an industrial environment or working with large equipment can be enough noise to cause damage.
Sometimes, kids suffer high frequency hearing loss due to persistent loud music. Particularly when loud music is introduced through ear buds or other direct headphones, this can direct the sound straight into the ear, and the louder it is, the more damage it may cause over time.
In addition to loud noise, high frequency hearing loss can also occur with age. Sometimes, medications such as chemotherapy drugs can cause this type of hearing loss as well.
Ways to Prevent High Frequency Hearing Loss
Most causes of high frequency hearing loss are unavoidable, including aging and certain medical conditions. The one cause that you do have some control over is your exposure to noise. The best way to protect yourself from high frequency hearing loss due to noise exposure is to always wear hearing protection when you're in a loud environment. Ear plugs are a worthwhile investment if they preserve your hearing.
How to Treat High Frequency Hearing Loss
The best way to deal with high frequency hearing loss is to work with an audiologist to get a digital hearing aid. Some hearing aids can alter the frequency of sounds through a process called frequency transposition. The process involves moving the higher frequency sounds to a lower frequency. Other hearing aids actually compress the sound in an effort to reduce the frequency.
High frequency hearing loss can be a struggle, particularly when you hear other sounds without a problem. An audiologist can not only help you diagnose high frequency hearing problems, but can also help you find the right hearing aid to help you overcome the problem. To learn more, visit Otolaryngology Plastic Surgery Associates PC.Share