High Pitch Hearing Test – What it is and why you might need one.

High Pitch Hearing Test – What it is and why you might need one.

It’s very common for adults to lose hearing for high pitches or in the higher frequencies. The process happens slowly over time, making hearing conversation in noise and small details of speech more challenging to understand.

What Causes High Pitch Hearing Loss?

All of this is a natural part of aging. But losing the ability to hear higher frequencies is very different from most other types of hearing loss.

With high pitch hearing loss, hair cells in the ear’s cochlea become damaged and stop functioning correctly. These cells are responsible for transmitting incoming auditory information into electrical impulses that are ultimately processed in the brain as “sound.”

For most adults, the lower frequencies remain intact since the hair cells that interpret these registers are in the inner part of the cochlea. By contrast, the vibrational cells responsible for higher pitches reside in the more outer portion of the cochlea. And these are the ones that suffer the most wear and tear as you grow older.

Let’s look at some of the many frustrations that people experience with this auditory condition.

High Pitch Hearing Loss: What to Expect

As you slowly lose the ability to hear higher frequencies, below are some of the challenges that await you:

  • Speech becomes less clear and distinct. This is because the consonant sounds we use to distinguish one word from another mostly exist in the higher registers (e.g. S’s vs. F’s and P’s vs. As). As a result, conversations become “fuzzier” – making it harder to parse out individual sounds and words. This is particularly true when speaking with women, children, and those who have higher pitched voices.
  • Music loses much of its luster since you no longer hear the full richness of every song. Note that this isn’t a problem of volume or loudness. The issue stems from sound clarity. So even if you turn up the speakers on your favorite concerto, there are aspects of the music that your brain simply will never receive. The ability to hear those higher frequencies is gone.
  • These challenges extend to other areas of life as well, including bells, alarms, whistles, and even birdsong. All of these common sounds become harder (if not impossible) to hear if they exist in the higher registers.
dealing with high pitch hearing loss at parties

The above problems are only compounded when trying to listen in loud, noisy environments like parties, multiple talkers, and crowded restaurants. Higher pitches are obscured by all of the ambient noise.

As a result, many familiar, everyday experiences become things of the past. And as you strain to understand conversation or enjoy music, you often encounter feelings of frustration, embarrassment, or fatigue.

Most simply accept this loss as a part of life.

But although high pitch hearing loss is a natural part of aging, it’s a manageable condition. And with the right training and technology, it’s possible to mitigate – and sometimes eliminate – the above challenges.

However, no corrective solution can deliver consistent results without proper diagnosis. This is why we offer comprehensive high pitch hearing loss evaluations at our Sacramento office.

Our Approach to High Pitch Hearing Loss Tests

Many audiologists conduct routine evaluations for high pitch hearing loss. But very few of them examine their patients’ ability to understand spoken words in background noise.

As such, the results of these high pitch hearing loss tests usually aren’t conclusive.

At The Hearing Solution, all of our hearing evaluations include real-world simulations to better mimic those situations that give you the greatest difficulty. During our high pitch hearing loss tests, we use ambient noises, cocktail party noise and background chatter to better pinpoint trouble spots.

This approach delivers more accurate results than tests conducted in quiet, sterile environments – as is normally the case with most hearing tests.

High Pitch Hearing Loss Treatments

Based on the results from our diagnostic screening, we then recommend any number of assistive devices that are specifically designed for high pitch hearing loss.

With hearing aids, for example, it’s possible to amplify those high pitch registers that your auditory infrastructure has difficulty capturing and processing. More specifically, this assistive hearing technology can pinpoint certain frequencies and boost their signals without causing any distortion.

Our hearing aids also come with:

  • Smart technology, complete with adaptive, directional microphones that can better capture speech – even in noisy environments.
  • Advanced noise cancellation technology and sound processing capabilities that can parse out spoken words from other ambient sounds – all within milliseconds.

As a result, conversations automatically benefit from enhanced amplification. For example, consonant sounds like S’s and F’s become more distinct – whether you’re:

  • On the phone.
  • At a loud party.
  • On a busy street.
listening to music with high pitch hearing loss

Moreover, we carefully calibrate your hearing aids to ensure that they deliver optimal results for your specific level and type of high pitch hearing loss. And we then have you “test drive” your hearing aids in the real world before purchasing.

With proper testing, fitting, customization, and training, you’ll be able to participate with ease in any conversation – regardless of the surrounding environment.

This means greater confidence and far less frustration.

Our corrective solutions also allow you to enjoy your favorite music, birds of spring, and all the other pleasant auditory experiences that you have missed.

Ready to Have Your Hearing Tested?

If you live in the greater Sacramento area and suspect that you may be suffering from high pitch hearing loss, we’re here to help.

Take the Next Step Towards Hearing Better

Request a complimentary consultation or diagnostic evaluation to learn how to get your hearing tested and treated by our expert audiologists.

Interested in learning more? Attend one of our regular hearing solution events to learn more about our unique approach to hearing loss or give us a call at 916-646-2471.

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