Why do many seniors experience high-frequency hearing loss?

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As age increases, various organs and functions of the body undergo varying degrees of degeneration and aging. For instance, mobility decreases, eyesight weakens, and ears gradually lose their sharpness. Moreover, as life stressors grow, the onset age of age-related hearing loss is decreasing.

High-frequency hearing loss is often irreversible, but preventive measures can be taken in certain situations.

Individuals aged 65 and above, pregnant women, infants, those with impaired liver or kidney function, and those with a history of poisoning in the family should be cautious and avoid using ototoxic drugs.

Regular hearing check-ups are essential for users of ototoxic drugs. If conditions permit, discontinuation of the medication should be immediate.

Those working in noisy environments must use earplugs, earmuffs, protective helmets, and undergo regular hearing checks.

Avoid using headphones in places with high background noise, such as subways or buses. Adhere to the 60-60 rule for headphone use (volume not exceeding 60%, duration not exceeding 60 minutes each time).

Seniors should maintain a positive mindset, consume foods rich in calcium and phosphorus, avoid smoking and limit alcohol intake, and engage in recreational sports activities based on individual physical conditions.

Some signs of high-frequency hearing loss:

Difficulty hearing high-frequency consonants (e.g., s, sh, f) during conversations with others.

Sounds may appear muffled during phone calls, TV watching, or in noisy environments. Individuals may complain of hearing sounds but not understanding the meaning.

Insensitivity to the voices of women and children, inability to hear bird songs, and even doorbell rings.

Causes of high-frequency decline:

Age: Aging leads to gradual deterioration of auditory organs, resulting in progressive bilateral hearing loss, known medically as presbycusis, with early dominance in high-frequency decline.

Educational tip:

Have you ever tried the popular test 'Guess the Age by Sound'? Playing different frequencies until one becomes inaudible can provide a simple estimate of your ear's age. The test principle is based on the gradual inability to hear ultra-high frequencies with age, although it doesn't affect daily listening (approximately 125-8kHz).

Noise: Prolonged exposure to noise above 85dB can cause noise-induced hearing loss. Individual differences vary, and generally, the longer the exposure to noise each day, the more severe the damage. Early stages often show a typical 'v'-shaped decline around 4kHz, later affecting the 2k-8k Hz range and even the entire frequency spectrum.

Medications: Ototoxic drugs, including aminoglycoside antibiotics (e.g., gentamicin, streptomycin), anticancer drugs (cisplatin), diuretics (furosemide), etc. Early stages involve bilateral high-frequency hearing loss, with minimal impact on low to mid frequencies. The hearing profile often exhibits a steep decline."

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