What Is High Frequency Hearing Loss And What Can I Do About It
Have you ever had a misunderstanding when communicating with someone else? Everyone has; misunderstandings in communication are a common occurrence. You may misunderstand what someone else is saying for a variety of reasons, from background noise to just not paying attention.
People with high-frequency hearing loss, however, have greater difficulty hearing or understanding anything within the 2,000 to 8,000 Hertz range. Female voices often fall in this range, so sometimes it becomes more difficult for people with high-frequency hearing loss to understand female communication. They may also have trouble hearing high-pitched noises like beeping machinery or birds singing.
High-frequency hearing loss is the result of damage of the sensory hearing cells in the inner ear or cochlea. Tiny hair cells in the cochlea serve to render sound from the outside world into electrical impulses that our brains can then recognize as understandable sounds. When a person suffers from hearing loss, they typically have trouble with higher frequencies before lower frequencies.
What Causes High-Frequency Hearing Loss?
Many things can cause high-frequency hearing loss, and people of all ages can be affected. When children suffer from high-frequency hearing loss, it can disturb learning by hindering communication and speech development, and hamper learning in school.
Is high-frequency hearing loss curable?
What are my treatment options?
Something In The Ear Canal
Objects that shouldn’t be there are most often found in the ears of children. Peas, beads or small pieces of a toy are the most common foreign bodies to block the ear and affect hearing.
It is usually best to have the object removed. This is done either by syringing it out with warm water or with a special extracting device.
Causes Of Sensorineural Hearing Loss: The Cochlea
Hearing loss of older people The most common cause of hearing loss is age-related. Most people over the age of 60 develop hearing loss to some degree. The exact cause is not known but it is thought to be due to the cells in the cochlea becoming damaged over time. A hearing aid may be needed. See the separate leaflet called Hearing Loss of Older People for more details.
Noise damageLoud noise damages the cochlea and can result in permanent hearing loss and ringing in the ears . The risk is based on how loud the noise is and how long you have been exposed to it. Those who work with loud equipment – people who shoot, use pneumatic drills or operate heavy machinery – should always wear their protective ear-wear in order to prevent long-term damage. The cumulative effect of prolonged exposure to loud noise speeds up the process of hearing loss. Loud noise from MP3 players and music gigs is thought to be the reason why hearing loss is increasingly affecting young people.
If you ever have ringing in your ears or dull hearing after listening to music, it was too loud; many musicians now wear ear filters to protect their hearing.
Other causes of cochlear damageThe cochlea can be damaged by a severe head injury. Such trauma can also disrupt the tiny ear bones and cause hearing loss that way. The cochlea can be damaged by a cholesteatoma .
MÃ©niÃ¨re’s disease causes attacks of dizziness and tinnitus, as well as hearing loss.
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How Does Hearing Loss Happen
High-frequency hearing loss can be caused by a variety of reasons. These include noise, aging, genetics, and disease. Menieres disease affects the inner ear and often happens to people between the ages of 30 and 50 years old. This can cause tinnitus, vertigo, hearing loss, and intense episodic dizziness. Some medications can cause damage to your hearing. Drugs used for chemotherapy and antibiotics are particularly damaging to your hearing health. Aging is also a natural cause of hearing loss because the cells cannot repair as quickly. If relatives have hearing loss, you might also be more genetically predisposed to high-frequency hearing loss. Those who are exposed to high noise levels like machinery, gunshots, or loud music can experience irreversible hearing damage.
Causes Of Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Common causes include old age, where the hearing pattern is often called presbycusis , Menieres disease, ototoxic medications , immune disorders, and noise exposure .; Trauma can cause both temporary and permanent hearing loss.
13-30% of those with meningitis develop hearing loss . Postmeningitic hearing loss can be due to lesions of the cochlea, brainstem and higher auditory pathways, but usually is related to suppurative labyrinthitis . Syphilis can cause hearing loss.
Surprisingly perhaps, hypertension, obesity and diabetes is not associated with an increased risk of hearing loss.
There are many rare individual causes of sensorineural hearing loss.
- Tumors in general are rare causes of sensorineural hearing loss. Examples are acoustic neuroma and meningioma. In most cases, hearing loss is unilateral.
- Hyperviscosity syndromes such as Von Waldenstroms macroglobulinemia
- Superficial siderosis, due to CNS bleeding, can cause a slowly progressive sensorineural hearing loss as well as cerebellar or vestibular disturbances. Superficial siderosis can be easily diagnosed on MRI from the characteristic hypointense areas where iron has been deposited. Cochlear implantation may not work in superficial siderosis
- Kawasacki’s disease is a rare cause of hearing loss in children.
- Radiation to the ear is often associated with a chronic, progressive hearing deterioration .
- Carbon monoxide poisoning.
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Menieres Hearing Loss Progression
At the beginning of this condition, hearing loss may be unnoticeable. Menieres affects the lower tonal ranges of sounds, and even then, its only in one ear. Sadly, for most people, this mild hearing loss only gets worse.
During the middle stage of the disease, a person may not have as many vertigo episodes, or they may not seem as severe. Nonetheless, tinnitus continues. Hearing loss increases. There may be months in between prevalent symptoms now.
After several years, vertigo continues to fade. Sometimes, it disappears totally. Meanwhile, ringing in the ear becomes markedly worse and distracting. Hearing loss also progresses. This element alone leaves people feeling off balance or unsteady even without vertigo.
Between 50 and 74% of Menieres patients end up with some level of hearing loss in both ears rather than just the one ear where symptoms began. If the second ear will show signs of damage, it will usually do so within five years of the diseases inception.
Evaluate And Treat Underlying Problems
If you develop tinnitus, it’s important to see your clinician. She or he will take a medical history, give you a physical examination, and do a series of tests to try to find the source of the problem. She or he will also ask you to describe the noise you’re hearing and the times and places in which you hear it. Your clinician will review your medical history, your current and past exposure to noise, and any medications or supplements you’re taking. Tinnitus can be a side effect of many medications, especially when taken at higher doses .
Musculoskeletal factors jaw clenching,;tooth grinding, prior injury, or muscle tension in the neck sometimes make tinnitus more noticeable, so your clinician may ask you to tighten muscles or move the jaw or neck in certain ways to see if the sound changes. If tight muscles are part of the problem, massage therapy may help relieve it.
Tinnitus that’s continuous, steady, and high-pitched generally indicates a problem in the auditory system and requires hearing tests conducted by an audiologist. Pulsatile tinnitus calls for a medical evaluation, especially if the noise is frequent or constant. MRI or CT imaging may be needed to check for a tumor or blood vessel abnormality.
If you’re often exposed to loud noises at work or at home, it’s important to reduce the risk of hearing loss by using protectors such as earplugs or earmuff-like or custom-fitted devices.
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Causes Of High Frequency Hearing Loss
Within our inner ear is the cochlea. This fluid-filled area contains tiny hair cells, whose movements are transformed into electrical impulses which are sent along the auditory nerve to the brain to be processed as sound. Different hair cells are responsible for different pitches, or frequencies, of sound.
In people with high frequency hearing loss, some or all of the hair cells in the cochlea responsible for detecting high frequency sounds are damaged. As a result, when high frequency sounds enter the ear and cause the fluid in the cochlea to move, there are no functioning hair cells to receive that signal and transmit it to the auditory nerve. This type of hearing loss is also known as sensorineural hearing loss. There are several reasons why the hair cells may become damaged:
The first step in treating high frequency hearing loss is to make an appointment with a licensed audiologist or other hearing professional and schedule a hearing test.
The results of a hearing test, called an audiogram, will show what frequencies your hearing is deficient in. An audiogram that slopes to the right indicates difficult hearing in the 2,000 to 8,000 Hz range. This hearing loss may be characterized as mild, moderate, moderately severe, severe, or profound.
Constant Noise In The Head Such As Ringing In The Earsrarely Indicates A Serious Health Problem But It Sure Can Be Annoying Here’s How To Minimize It
Tinnitus is sound in the head with no external source. For many, it’s a ringing sound, while for others, it’s whistling, buzzing, chirping, hissing, humming, roaring, or even shrieking. The sound may seem to come from one ear or both, from inside the head, or from a distance. It may be constant or intermittent, steady or pulsating.
Almost everyone has had tinnitus for a short time after being exposed to extremely loud noise. For example, attending a loud concert can trigger short-lived tinnitus. Some medications can cause tinnitus that goes away when the drug is discontinued. When it lasts more than six months, it’s known as chronic tinnitus. As many as 50 to 60 million people in the United States suffer from this condition; it’s especially common in people over age 55 and strongly associated with hearing loss. Many people worry that tinnitus is a sign that they are going deaf or have another serious medical problem, but it rarely is.
The course of chronic tinnitus is unpredictable. Sometimes the symptoms remain the same, and sometimes they get worse. In about 10% of cases, the condition interferes with everyday life so much that professional help is needed.
While there’s;no cure for chronic tinnitus, it often becomes less noticeable and more manageable over time. You can help ease the symptoms by educating yourself about the condition for example, understanding that it’s not dangerous. There are also several ways to help tune out the noise and minimize its impact.
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How Severe Is Your Hearing Loss
This is the simplest and most frequently used way of describing a hearing loss. Audiologists often use the categories mild, moderate, severe, and profound.
By and large, if you have a mild hearing loss you will be able to hear a conversation without much struggle if youre in a quiet room near the person talking, as long as there is little background noise, but you may struggle when louder background noise is present.
If you have a severe to profound hearing loss you will be unable to hear what anyone is saying under almost most circumstances.
However, there is much more you need to know before you can understand your hearing fully, as it is not simply about hearing individual sounds and tones.
What Is High Frequency Sensorineural Hearing Loss
The way that we hear and the system that process the sounds that come to our ear are complex. Our hearing system is comprised of 4 distinct areas and 4 distinct modes to help transmit the signal in order for us to process the sound. Those areas are as follows: 1) Outer Ear 2) Middle Ear 3) Inner Ear and 4) The Brain. The outer ear is comprised of what you see on the outside, also called the pinna, and the ear canal. The middle ear has 3 small bones called the malleus, incus, and stapes. The inner ear is comprised of the cochlea and the nerve that transmits the signals to our brain. When a sound signal like an alarm or speech is happening, it moves the air molecules from the source of the sound to our ear. It then travels through the ear canal which vibrates the ear drum and pushes on the 3 bones in the middle ear, which in turn pushes on the cochlea. The cochlea is fluid filled and the movement of that fluid vibrate hair cells that are lining the cochlea. Those vibrations of hair cells sends an electrical signal to the brain to be processed.
I hope this article answers your questions about how we hear and about hearing loss. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to speak with an audiologist.
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Stem Cell Transplant And Gene Therapy
A 2005 study achieved successful regrowth of cochlea cells in guinea pigs. However, the regrowth of cochlear hair cells does not imply the restoration of hearing sensitivity, as the sensory cells may or may not make connections with neurons that carry the signals from hair cells to the brain. A 2008 study has shown that gene therapy targeting Atoh1 can cause hair cell growth and attract neuronal processes in embryonic mice. Some hope that a similar treatment will one day ameliorate hearing loss in humans.
Recent research, reported in 2012 achieved growth of cochlear nerve cells resulting in hearing improvements in gerbils, using stem cells. Also reported in 2013 was regrowth of hair cells in deaf adult mice using a drug intervention resulting in hearing improvement. The Hearing Health Foundation in the US has embarked on a project called the Hearing Restoration Project. Also Action on Hearing Loss in the UK is also aiming to restore hearing.
Researchers reported in 2015 that genetically deaf mice which were treated with TMC1 gene therapy recovered some of their hearing. In 2017, additional studies were performed to treat Usher syndrome and here, a recombinant adeno-associated virus seemed to outperform the older vectors.
How Hearing Loss Effects The Menieres Patient
If you have gone through the testing phase for Menieres and have a concrete diagnosis, youre wondering what to expect. When you have hearing loss in one ear, it changes your perceptions. Confusion and sound distortion are common. Think of what its like to hear one side of a telephone conversation, or to be talking to someone on the phone with an unclear line. Things dont make complete sense or seem garbled. Thats what your brain is trying to sort outyou no longer have symmetrical signals going from your inner ear to the brain.
How Menieres syndrome will impact your life depends on several factors. Each person is different. The most common problem is being able to have a decent conversation in a noisy environment . Going to parties or out for a meal becomes a struggle and you might worry about being embarrassed. It feels like you cannot understand everything you hear.
Another issue Menieres sufferers face is the inability to determine where a specific sound originates from in ones environment. Each ear processes the sound differently. Because one ear hears better than another, you can get the false impression a sound originates from a certain direction when it may not. Youre constantly turning your head so that your good ear is toward the person speaking. The ongoing, back-and-forth movement you engage to improve clarity can set off vertigo too.
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Discussing Your Hearing Loss With Your Doctor
If you think you are losing hearing then discuss this with your GP. You may notice difficulty distinguishing what people are saying, or that everything seems quieter. Others may comment that you have the TV turned up very loud. Perhaps you have been exposed to loud noise.
Your doctor may ask you the following questions:
Your doctor is likely to perform some tests on your hearing in the surgery to decide whether your hearing loss seems to be conductive, sensorineural, or mixed. They will examine your ears for wax and for obvious problems affecting the eardrum. They may then refer you for formal hearing tests. See the separate leaflet called Hearing Tests for more details.
How Old Were You When Your Hearing Began To Change
If your hearing loss began when you were a baby, you will experience your remaining hearing differently than if you began to lose your hearing much later in life. Your voice may be different, and your emotional relationship with your hearing may be different. If you have been accustomed to hearing all your life and then it changes, there are some difficult adjustments to make.
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Conditions Affecting The Hearing Nerve
Acoustic neuromaAn acoustic neuroma is a rare growth on the hearing nerve inside the skull. The hearing loss that an acoustic neuroma causes affects just one ear. See the separate leaflet called Acoustic Neuroma for more details.
Conditions affecting the brainUltimately, sound is heard and interpreted by the brain; conditions that affect the hearing centre in the brain can also cause hearing loss. Examples would be brain injury through trauma, stroke, brain infection and multiple sclerosis. In some cases there might be partial or even complete recovery over time, although in other cases the loss would be permanent.
Does Tinnitus Lead To Hearing Loss
The middle ear is an air-filled compartment. Inside it are the three smallest bones in the body, called the malleus, incus and stapes. These bones are connected to each other. The last in the line, the stapes, also makes contact with the inner ear. The air space of the middle ear connects to the back of the nose by the Eustachian tube.
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High Frequency Hearing Loss: Symptoms Causes & Treatment
When people think of hearing loss, they often think of people no longer being able to hear quieter sounds. However, volume is only one factor that makes up the sounds that we hear. Another important aspect is the pitch/frequency of the sound; the higher the pitch, the closer the sound waves are to one another and the higher the sound. Difficulty hearing these higher sounds is known as high frequency hearing loss.
Joy Victory Managing Editor Healthy Hearing
Joy Victory has extensive experience editing consumer health information. Her training in particular has focused on how to best communicate evidence-based medical guidelines and clinical trial results;to the public.;She strives to make health content accurate, accessible and engaging to the public.Read more about Joy.
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Could You Have High Frequency Hearing Loss Know The Signs
If you struggle to hear what other people say or feel confused during conversations, you might have high frequency hearing loss.Â;
High frequency hearing loss is a condition that occurs when the ear becomes unable to hear high-pitched sounds. According to the Hearing Rehab Center, âaging, noise exposure, and medical conditions are the three biggest causes of high frequency hearing loss, all of which damage the sensory cells in the inner ear.â
As many as 14% of people under the age of 65 and 30% of people age 65 or older experience hearing loss. If you are one of these people, here is what you should know about high frequency hearing loss:
Treatment Options For High
Example of a receiver-in-the-ear hearingaid.
High-frequency hearing loss is usually irreversible. Fortunately, though,;hearing aids;work quite well for this type of hearing loss.
Typically, the;best type of hearing aid;for high-frequency hearing loss is whats known as a receiver in the ear with a;dome that sits in the ear canal. This style has an open fit so it doesn’t muffle the low-frequency sounds that you;still hear naturally.;It can be programmed to amplify only the frequencies you struggle to hear.
While some people want to wear devices that are invisible , they often dont work well for this type of hearing loss, because they block low-frequency sounds.
For any hearing aids, keep in mind it may take time to get used to them, especially if you have had untreated hearing loss for a long time.
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Who Experiences High
Interestingly, men experience high-frequency hearing loss more often, while women experience low-frequency hearing loss more often; however, on the whole, high-frequency hearing loss is more common.
A report done by the National Institute of Health showed that fifteen percent of Americans falling in the age range of 20 to 69 experience high-frequency hearing loss due to their own detriment, proving that hearing loss is not just hereditary or age-induced.
If you are unable to hear your nieces high-pitched giggles as well as the drum roll of timpani, you may be experiencing high-frequency hearing loss. Take this fun quiz to see which frequencies you can hear.
You can also check for high-frequency hearing loss using a free online hearing test. Online tests can be a quick and accurate way to gain insight into your hearing acuity.
How To Prevent High
High-frequency hearing loss is generally irreversible. However, it can be prevented with the following tips:
- Protect your hearing against noises louder than 85 decibels
- Turn down the volume of music systems, electronic devices, and televisions.
- Wear hearing protection devices, such as custom earmolds or noise-canceling headphones, if you are regularly exposed to loud noises or when you visit noisy environments such as sporting events or live concerts.
Regular hearing evaluations will help to diagnose problems before they impact your hearing ability. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Chris Hoffmann to get your hearing checked.
Treatments And Solutions That Work
Hearing aids are the most common and usually the best course of treatment for high frequency hearing loss. In recent years, there has been a lot of technological improvement in hearing aids. According to Mayo Clinic, hearing aid manufacturers continue to make improvements by developing hearing aids that are more effective for all types of hearing loss, including high frequency hearing loss.Â;
High frequency hearing loss can often be prevented, but sometimes it might be inevitable. âHearing loss isnât always preventable as there can be a genetic and aging component. However, noise exposure can certainly cause high frequency hearing loss. It is very important that you protect your hearing if you are in noisy environments,â Basham says.Â;
Address High Frequency Hearing Loss With A Hearing Device
While it might be disheartening to learn that you or someone you care about is struggling with high frequency hearing loss, you do have options. Hearing aids are one choice, but they can be a complex and expensive one, and many people find that they are not ready to investigate this type of solution.
Innovative new hearing devices known as hearables offer another alternative. For example, IQbuds2 MAX employ cutting-edge technology to help amplify only the frequencies that are impacted by hearing loss. The device learns and adapts to your unique hearing profile, giving you the assistance you need when you need it.
And you can forgo any cumbersome screenings or appointments with Nuhearas solutions. You simply set them up in the comfort of your own home. Learn more about how Nuhearas hearing buds can help enhance your hearing and your connection with the world.
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