Hearing Loss

What sounds do you have trouble hearing?

Not all hearing loss is equal. There are different kinds of hearing loss that affect different parts of the range of human hearing. Some of the most challenging sounds for many people include the following:

  • Birdsong
  • Sounds in the car, like turn signals or other audio indicators
  • Voices of women or children
  • Certain words are hard to understand, or are mistaken for other words
  • The beeping of some watches, kitchen timers or microwave ovens

The above are all high-frequency sounds, which are more difficult to hear. High-frequency hearing loss is the most common. It often happens as we age.

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There’s another kind of hearing loss where you may still hear the very high-pitched sounds.

For instance, birdsong or high-frequency beeping might be discernable. But other, less high-pitched sounds, like children’s voices, are a challenge. This is called noise-notch hearing loss. It means there’s a certain range of sounds on the frequency spectrum that you can’t hear.

That’s because it’s associated hearing loss from gun blasts. We see it here in rural areas like New Hampshire and Vermont, where target shooting and hunting are common.

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But what if you have trouble hearing sounds in the mid-range frequencies?

This is less common. High-pitched and low-pitched sounds can be heard, but mid-frequency sounds like conversation and music might be a challenge.

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Among the more rare types is low-frequency hearing loss.

Phone conversations might be a challenge. Men’s voices might be difficult to hear. The bass line in a song might seem to be gone. Maybe you’ll see lightninging but not hear thunder. This is known as reverse slope hearing loss. There are various causes, and sometimes it can be an early stage of an inner ear challenge called Meniere’s disease.

Do you believe you have hearing loss?

If so, the best thing to do is talk to an audiologist. Hearing loss is a multi-faceted challenge. A professional with training in all aspects of the condition is the best place to start. That’s how to begin making decisions that may lead to a hearing aid, or may point in a different direction.

If you’d like to schedule an audiological evaluation with us, click here.