If you can hear men’s voices more readily than women’s or children’s voices, it might indicate that you’ve suffered some high-frequency hearing loss. The voices of most women and children fall into a higher frequency range – generally 165 to 255 Hertz – while male voices are typically lower frequency at 85 to 180 Hz. Another factor that can make women’s and children’s voices tougher to hear is that they are typically softer (less loud) than men’s voices. By making an appointment with one of our hearing specialists you can find out for sure what the nature of the problem is, and how to best treat it.
If it turns out to be high-frequency hearing loss, you’re not alone; this is the most common form of hearing loss. There are many possible causes; among the possibilities are aging, exposure to loud noises, certain diseases and certain drugs. But whatever the cause, the important thing is that as a result of technological advances, hearing loss can be treated.
Digital hearing aids are programmable to offer different levels of sound amplification and different frequencies. For example, a hearing aid properly adjusted for a person suffering from high-frequency hearing loss would separate those higher-pitched sounds and boost their volume, causing them to appear louder than lower-pitched sounds. An open-fit hearing aid is another option. The open-fit design leaves the ear canal open or partially open allowing lower frequency sounds to enter the ear normally. The open-fit aid would be set to amplify only the high-pitched sounds. A third option for very severe cases of high-frequency hearing loss is a cochlear implant. This is a more expensive solution because the implantation procedure requires minor surgery, but it can be effective in the treatment of conditions such as nerve deafness and industrial deafness.
No matter which option you ultimately choose, the first step is always the same. Get a comprehensive exam from a qualified hearing care professional. Some cases of high-frequency hearing loss, for example, have proven to be caused by nothing more than a buildup of ear wax, which is easily treated, without the need for any type of hearing aid. So the best “first step” in dealing with your hearing problem is to make an appointment and allow us to determine the real nature of the problem.