One of the primary concerns that those with hearing loss have is the ability to hear people, but not comprehending what has been said.
This complaint comes up often among those who suffer from sloping high-frequency hearing loss.
What is Happening and why do so many People have this Issue?
The ears and the brain are both affected by hearing loss. Sound waves are deciphered by the ears and translated into words that make sense. The loss of hearing can come in various degrees and in a range of frequencies. One of the more common versions of inner ear hearing loss is sloping high - frequency hearing loss.
Hearing loss is typically measured from 250 to 8000 Hz (Hertz - a derived unit of frequency, defined as one cycle per second.). Those with high-frequency hearing loss do not have a loss of frequencies under 1000 Hz (lower pitched frequencies), but have abnormal results in a range of 1000 to 8000 Hz (higher pitched frequencies).
Diverse Speech Signals Create Diverse Frequencies
In human speech patterns, there are low-pitched sounds (or vowels) and high-pitched sounds (or consonants). The ability to hear vowels that have lower pitched frequencies provides people with the sensation of hearing speech, but the inability to hear higher pitched sounds. This is what gives us the ability to understand complete words. This is also what gives some people the capacity to hear, but not understand what is being said.
It’s easier to determine the differences between words with high-pitched frequencies, which have consonants. Those with high-frequency hearing loss, lose the ability to hear consonant sounds and distinguish the difference between words like ‘bat’ or ‘cat’.
When Important Sounds and Letters are not Heard Clearly
Imagine a book that has every Ch, Sh, Th, F, H, K, P, and S removed. You can still read parts of the book and comprehend some of it, but you won’t be able to understand most of the significant words and phrases. This makes it difficult to understand the overall subject matter. This is what people who have high-frequency hearing loss experience. Part of the message can be heard, but the loss of the ability to hear high-frequencies removed the vital sounds or letters necessary for word comprehension and recognition.
Fortunately, you can get help for high-frequency hearing loss with the appropriate diagnosis and proper amplification.
Do you, or a loved one, have difficulty hearing or understanding what others are saying and need help? If so, please contact one of our hearing instrument specialists at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation to discuss the best options that are available. We offer affordable hearing aids at discount prices!