Over the many years, we’ve written lots of articles outlining the perks and benefits of using hearing aids. However, professionals in the audiology industry rarely touch on the subject of sounds that hearing-impaired people miss out on, more than just explaining that women’s and children’s voices are more difficult to understand.
At Hearing Healthcare Centre, we’re always looking for a new and interesting perspective to write about, and so we’ve decided to go a little deeper.
The first thing to mention is that no two people’s hearing loss is ever the same. Depending on a number of genetic and environmental factors, everyone will lose different frequencies, at a different rate, to somebody else.
Conductive Hearing Loss
Conductive hearing loss is most commonly associated with ageing, and occur when sound struggles to pass through the inner ear and reach the brain, limiting the brain’s ability to interpret the sound.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss happens when damage occurs to the inner ear or auditory nerve, usually occurring from over-exposure to loud noise, this accounts for around 90% of sensorineural hearing losses.
A high-frequency loss is when individuals have a sloping audiogram, meaning their hearing reduces in the higher range. This is the hearing loss most associated with both ageing and over-exposure to loud noise. Most audiologists classify anything over 2,000Hz as ‘high frequency’.
Inside each ear lies your cochlea, which is your hearing organ responsible for receiving sound. Researchers have found that the high-frequency region within the cochlea is most damaged by loud sounds, for example, a concert or gunshot.
The main effect of a high-frequency loss is understanding conversation.
Speech fits within a certain frequency range, and once a hearing loss encroaches into that range, speech will become less clear. Any words with the sounds S, H, TH, SH, and F fall into the range of 2000 to 6000Hz
Hearing loss can also affect low frequencies as well, though it’s slightly less prevalent. We classify low frequency as anything under 2,000Hz. Fortunately speech isn’t really affected by the low-frequencies, however, you may experience difficulty interpreting deep male voices, which typically fall into this range.
With a low-frequency hearing loss, subtle things like the rumbling of a car may disappear, and music, especially bass-heavy music may feel distorted as you no longer hear certain sounds and tones within the track.
So what can you do about it?
Naturally, hearing aids are the perfect solution to any type of hearing loss. By simply amplifying frequencies alone, one can attain far superior hearing to before, and with all the features and advantages of modern day hearing aids, you’d be silly not to!
We’ve stated in another article, that hearing aids not only give you back what you’re missing but actually augment your hearing in the ways you can control hearing aids. Lowering the voices of an entire restaurant full of people just so you can hear your partner perfectly is just a small example.