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If you’re finding it more difficult to hear female voices or kid’s voices than to hear male voices, it may be an indication that you have experienced some amount of high-frequency hearing loss. Women’s and children’s voices have a higher frequency than men’s voices – 165 to 255 Hz, instead of 85 to 180 Hz for men. Another thing that can make women’s and children’s voices more challenging to hear is that they are generally softer than men’s voices. Although you may suspect that you have suffered a high-frequency hearing loss because you are having trouble hearing these voices, the only way to know for certain is to make an appointment for an exam.

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. The good news is that high-frequency hearing loss can generally be counteracted with technology.

Digital hearing aids are an effective treatment option because their sophisticated electronics allow the aids to be adjusted or programmed to “favor” one set of frequencies over another. 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. Another treatment option is the use of open-fit hearing aids, which leave your ear canal open or partially open, so that low-frequency and mid-frequency sounds enter the ear normally, and only the high-frequency sounds are amplified. 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.

No matter which option you ultimately choose, the first step is always the same. Get a comprehensive exam from a qualified hearing care professional. Your hearing exam could reveal that your high-frequency hearing loss is caused by a treatable blockage such as a build up of ear wax and can be easily corrected.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.