Posted on: April 29, 2016

Your hearing ability not only depends on your hearing level, as we discussed last week, but also what frequencies or pitches you hear.

High frequency hearing loss:

The most common type of hearing loss is high frequency and most often occurs with aging or noise exposure. People with this configuration of hearing tend to be able to hear low pitch sounds well, but have difficulty hearing higher pitches such as alarms, birds, and crickets. For speech this means they miss consonants and often mix up similar sounds such as /sh/ and /ch/.

Since the low pitches are still heard fairly well, people with this type of hearing often don’t notice that their hearing is deteriorating right away. This is because they can still hear a lot of the sounds around them. The most prominent symptom of this type of hearing loss is noticing that others don’t sound clear or it sounds like they are mumbling. This can have a dramatic effect on ones quality of life as speech becomes more and more difficult to follow resulting in strained relationships and withdrawal from social activities.  Treating this type of hearing loss early on is very important to maintaining quality of life.

Low frequency hearing loss:

This is essentially the opposite of high frequency hearing loss and much less common, often caused by a blockage or mechanical issue with the eardrum or other parts of the hearing system. People usually notice this type of hearing loss more quickly as it perceptually results in a dramatic decrease in overall volume. If it is a mechanical problem it can sometimes be corrected surgically. If it cannot, it is important to treat early with hearing technology.

Flat hearing loss:

This is type of hearing loss spans the entire frequency range from low pitch to high pitch. People with this type of hearing loss will notice both a decrease in volume and decreased speech clarity. It can be caused by many factors, some of which include ageing, noise exposure, mechanical issues, or a combination. As with other types of hearing loss it should be treated as early as possible.

For more information or to book an appointment as part of your ongoing hearing health care please contact us at one of our convenient locations below.

Lower Sackville: 902-252-3004

Halifax: 902-423-7734

Cole Harbour: 902-406-4327