If you can hear male voices more easily than female or children’s voices, it might suggest that you have suffered some high-frequency hearing loss. Women’s and children’s voices have a higher frequency than men’s voices – 165 to 255 Hertz, in contrast to 85 to 180 Hertz for men. In addition, women’s and children’s voices generally have a lower amplitude (that is, they are softer or less loud), so you might hear them at a different volume 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. High-frequency hearing loss can have many causes: genetics, aging, noise-induced hearing loss (exposure to loud sounds), certain diseases, and certain drugs. But due to advances made in hearing aid technology, high-frequency hearing loss can be effectively treated.
Digital hearing aids are programmable to offer different levels of sound amplification and different frequencies. For people with high-frequency hearing loss, the digital hearing aid raises the volume of high-frequency (high-pitched) sounds more than it raises the volume of the lower-frequency (low-pitched) sounds. Open-fit hearing aids provide another treatment option, because their design leaves the ear canal open so that low- and mid-frequency sounds enter the ear normally, and only the high-frequency sounds are amplified by the aid. A third possibility for severe cases of high-frequency hearing loss is the placement of a cochlear implant. Because they require minor surgery, cochlear implants are a more serious and more expensive option, but they can provide a solution in extreme cases involving industrial deafness or nerve deafness.
But the first step to finding a solution to your hearing problem is to have an examination, and allow our specialists to determine what the nature of it actually is. In some cases, for example, high-frequency hearing loss has been caused by nothing more than a buildup of ear wax, which can be cleared up 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.