High Frequency Hearing Loss: Know the Symptoms and Treatment

side of woman's head and ear

High-frequency hearing loss, as the name might suggest, is when you are unable to hear high-pitched noises like singing or beeping alarms like you once were. It is actually one of the most common forms of hearing loss.

High-frequency hearing loss is often associated with old age or prolonged exposure to excessively loud noises, but anyone can experience this form of hearing loss at any time and if you think you might have high-frequency hearing loss, you really need to book an appointment with an audiologist as soon as possible.

How is High-Frequency Hearing Loss Caused?

The most common cause of high-frequency hearing loss in younger people is exposure to loud noise, but it is also very common to develop the condition as you reach your senior years.

The inner ear contains a lot of hair-like cells called stereocilia. These cells are very delicate and when they are damaged, they will often send out signals even when there is no noise around. When they are damaged, they are not able to do this as effectively as they should and this can often result in you losing your ability to hear high-pitched noises.

Apart from loud noises, high-frequency hearing loss can also be caused by: 

  • Ototoxic medications
  • Old age
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Ear infections
  • High blood pressure

So, if you are experiencing any of the above, and you also have noticed that your hearing is more muffled than it used to be, it could be time to talk to an audiologist.

Symptoms of High-Frequency Hearing Loss?

Common symptoms experienced by people with high-frequency hearing loss include:

  • Speech sounds muffled
  • Understanding conversations is more difficult
  • High-pitched sounds like singing and little girls’ voices are harder to hear.
  • Tinnitus
  • High-pitched noises in the ear

Many people will also start to feel anxious, stressed out or even angry when they are experiencing hearing loss due to the frustration and social isolation that can come with not being able to communicate as effectively as they would like.

If you experience any of these symptoms, having your hearing checked sooner, rather than later, would be advisable because, although it may not reversible, it is possible to prevent further deterioration in many cases.

How is High-Frequency Hearing Loss Diagnosed?

Your audiologist will put you through a simple hearing test conducted in a sound-treated booth. They will be testing to see if you are capable of hearing sounds in the region of between 2,000 and 8,000 hertz. If you cannot hear these sounds, or you cannot hear them very well, a diagnosis of high-frequency hearing loss is likely.

How is high-Frequency Hearing Loss Treated?

Most people with high-frequency hearing loss will be fitted with hearing aids. These will help to boost the high-pitched sounds that you can no longer hear well, thus restoring some semblance of equilibrium to your hearing. 

In order to prevent your high-frequency hearing loss from becoming more severe, your audiologist is likely to recommend that you wear ear defenders or earplugs whenever you are around loud noise such as rock concerts or heavy machinery.

Is High-Frequency Hearing Loss Something You Can Prevent?

Yes, there are several things you can do to lower your risk of high-frequency hearing loss, the main one being staying away from loud noises, or at least wearing ear protectors if you cannot do that.

You should also be careful when using headphones that you have them on a low and safe volume, and that you take breaks every 15-30 minutes. This might seem like an inconvenience, but it is not nearly as inconvenient as experiencing hearing loss.

Of course, something else you can do to prevent high-frequency hearing loss is to have regular ear health checks performed by a qualified audiologist. If we can spot the initial signs of high-frequency hearing loss, we can work with you to minimize its impact and help to save as much of your hearing as possible. Hearing loss is a health issue that can have a lot of unwanted consequences, so it is always a good idea to take your aural health seriously.

If you would like to know more about high-frequency hearing loss you can speak to one of our experienced audiologists by calling Desert Hearing Care at 480-985-2544. Your hearing matters to us just as much as it matters to you, so do not hesitate to get in touch!