Most people are surprised to discover, in the majority of cases regarding hearing loss, people can hear many sounds without any problem and have a hard time with specific sounds.
For instance, if you have trouble only hearing high-pitched sounds, you may suffer from the most common type of hearing loss, known as high-frequency hearing loss.
With high-frequency hearing loss, you can probably hear lower-pitched sounds normally, causing the perception that your hearing is normal. However, higher-pitched sounds may not be recognized at all.
So which frequencies should you be able to hear with healthy hearing?
Sound can be characterized by its loudness (measured in decibels) and by its frequency or pitch (calculated in Hertz).
With normal hearing, you’d be able to hear sounds inside the frequency range of 20 to 20,000 Hz, but the most important sounds are inside the range of 250 to 6,000 Hertz. Inside of that range, you would be able to hear most frequencies at a relatively low volume of around 0-25 decibels.
With high-frequency hearing loss, you might be able to hear the lower frequencies at fairly low volumes (0-25 decibels), but you wouldn’t be able to hear the higher frequencies without raising the volume (sometimes as much as a 90-decibel increase with severe hearing loss).
So which higher-pitched sounds, in particular, would you have difficulty hearing with high-frequency hearing loss?
Here are four:
Speech incorporates a combination of both low and high-frequency sounds.
Vowel sounds, like the short “o” in the word “hot,” have low frequencies and are typically easy to hear even with hearing loss.
Consonants such as “s,” “h,” and “f,” which have higher frequencies and are harder to hear. Because consonants transmit the majority of the meaning in speech, it would only make sense that those with high-frequency hearing loss have trouble following conversations.
2. The voices of women and children
For many of the men who have been accused of ignoring their wives or having “selective hearing,” they now, might have a valid excuse.
Women and children tend to have higher-pitched voices with less amplitude or volume. Due to this, those with hearing loss might find it easier to hear the male voice.
3. The chirping of birds
The sounds of birds chirping are most often in the higher frequencies, which means you could not hear these sounds entirely.
Actually, many patients reveal their surprise when they could hear the sounds of birds once again after being fitted with hearing aids.
4. Certain musical instruments
Musical instruments capable of producing high-frequency sounds, such as the flute, the violin to name a few, can be difficult to hear for those with hearing loss.
Music, as a whole, tends to lose some of its power in those with hearing loss, as certain instruments and frequencies cannot be distinguished.
If your loss of hearing is keeping you from hearing the sounds you enjoy or even just making daily conversation more difficult. Make sure to reach out to a qualified hearing professional today and have your hearing checked to find out what you might be missing.