If you are finding it more difficult to hear female voices or children’s voices than to hear male voices, it may be an indication that you’ve suffered some degree of high-frequency hearing loss. Men’s voices generally fall into the frequency range of 85 to 180 Hertz, while women’s and children’s voices have a frequency range of 165 to 255 Hz. On top of that, the volume of women’s and children’s voice are often less audible because they speak more quietly that men. 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.
You are far from alone if your condition is high-frequency hearing loss, because it is the most common type 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 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. 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 option for very severe cases of high-frequency hearing loss is 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.
Whatever your particular hearing problem may be, however, the first step to understanding and treating it is to have an examination by a hearing 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 rather than worry about why you are having trouble hearing women’s and children’s voices, do something about it by scheduling an appointment with a trained hearing instrument specialist.