What is High-Frequency Hearing Loss?

One of the most common types of hearing loss is caused by aging. Known as presbycusis, this type of hearing loss makes hearing high frequency sounds difficult.

High-frequency hearing loss can also be caused by:

  • Exposure to loud noises.
  • Genetics.
  • Ototoxicity.
  • Disease.

High frequency hearing loss leads to an individual having trouble hearing sounds in the 2,000 to 8,000 Hz range. This means they have trouble hearing the voices of women and young children as well as s, h or f sounds.

How Sound is 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 conversations are measured at about 65 dB.

Woman and man on motorcycle -  in Thousand Oaks

  • Exposure to sound over 85 dB (busy Thousand Oaks 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 chainsaw) can cause damage

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).

Sounds You Can Hear

As we age, so do our inner ears. Because of this, there are certain sounds that we simply cannot hear as we get older. Click through the below links and see if you can hear the sounds associated with your age.

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 

Could you hear all the sounds associated with your age group? While this may indicate that you are experiencing hearing loss, there are also many variables to these online hearing tests. Your volume setting could be off or the speakers you are using may be quieter than others.

If you are concerned with the results, now is the time to contact your Thousand Oaks audiologist. They will complete a real hearing exam and determine your exact type and degree of hearing loss. Once this information is obtained, they can help you create a customized treatment plan.

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