Hearing loss is usually gradual, and it starts with high frequencies. You are far likelier to have trouble hearing frequencies higher than 2000 Hz. Some people develop high frequency hearing loss and don’t have any difficulties with lower pitches. For others, it’s the first step toward more severe hearing difficulties.
How Does It Manifest?
If you are experiencing high frequency hearing loss, you might not hear everyone’s voices equally. Conversations with women or children may become more difficult to follow, as they speak at a higher pitch. Additionally, you might find it harder to understand the words you do hear, since you might not pick up on some consonants.
Who Is at Risk?
In most cases, high frequency hearing loss is caused by noise exposure. Too much noise damages the sensitivity of the hair cells in your inner ear.
Thus, people who work in noisy environments are likelier to develop this problem. Very loud music can damage your sensory hair cells too.
What Should You Do?
This type of hearing loss is a widespread problem, and not everyone seeks out help for it. It’s worth looking into your options, since you can avoid a number of social difficulties if you find treatment.
• Hearing Aids
Open-fit hearing aids are your best choice, as they can amplify high frequencies but leave your ear canal open for mid-frequency and low-frequency sounds.
• Cochlear Implants
A cochlear implant can replace the function of your sensory hair cells. It processes sound digitally, and sends it to your brain in the form of electric impulses. Hearing implants are a great option, but they damage your residual hearing.
• Damage Prevention
Sensory hair cell damage is permanent. Thus, you should try to avoid noise exposure whenever possible. Protective earphones are a great choice for many people. You might be able to stop the progression of your hearing damage if you make some lifestyle changes.