What is High-Frequency Hearing Loss?
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I am here to tell you that we all age. Besides the right to drive with your left blinker on through the streets of Katy, Texas, with age comes presbycusis. Known as age-related hearing loss, it is caused by the natural aging of the cells in your ears and makes it harder to hear higher frequencies.
In addition to presbycusis, high-frequency hearing loss is caused by:
- Exposure to loud noises
Those with high-frequency hearing loss have trouble hearing sounds in the 2,000 to 8,000 Hz range. This often prevents individuals from hearing s, h or f sounds as well as the voices of women and children. Other high-frequency sounds these individuals may miss is a bird chirping or the beeping of a microwave.
How is Sound Measured?
Sound travels in waves and is measured in frequency and amplitude.
Amplitude is the measurement of how forceful a wave is. Measured in decibels (dB), the louder the sound is, the higher the decibel number will be. Normal conversation clocks in around 65 dB.
- Exposure to sound over 85 dB (busy Katy traffic) can cause damage within 8 hours
- Exposure to sound over 100 dB (a motorcycle) can cause damage within 15 minutes
- Exposure to sound over 120 dB (a chain saw) can cause damage instantly
Frequency is the measurement of the number of sound vibrations in one second. Measured in hertz (Hz), a healthy ear can hear a wide range of frequencies, from very low (20 Hz) to very high (20,000 Hz).
What sounds should you be able to hear?
8,000 Hz should be easily heard by everyone with normal hearing
12,000 Hz is hard for anyone over 50 years of age to hear
15,000 Hz is difficult for anyone over the age of 40 to hear
17,400 Hz is a frequency that only teenagers can hear. [Most people over the age of 18 cannot hear this tone]
If you could not hear all of the above links, no need to panic. Simply listening to various online videos is not a substitute for a real hearing test performed by an experienced Katy audiologist.
There are a number of variables that could affect how well you can hear the sounds coming out of your computer, such as the quality and volume of your speakers.
If you are worried that you may be suffering from high-frequency hearing loss, now is the time to finally do something about it. Contact your Katy audiologist today.