I can hear, but I cannot understand


By Dr. Kylie Young,

Beltone Hearing & Audiology

One of the first signs of hearing loss is when individuals notice that they can hear others talking just fine, but it’s distinguishing what’s truly being said that becomes an issue. Hearing loss is generally something that happens so gradually that we don’t always notice it. This is typically the number one complaint of individuals that suffer from a high frequency hearing loss. Those that have been exposed to hazardous occupational and recreational noise exposure are at an even higher risk for developing a high frequency hearing loss.

Why is this significant? Our hearing not only involves our ears, but also our brain. Our ears funnel in the sound, from there we have two nerves that send the information up to the brain where we can process speech and other meaningful sounds. While there are many different types and configurations of hearing loss, the most common form of hearing loss is a sloping high frequency. Individuals with high frequency hearing loss will have normal hearing in the low frequencies, thus, allowing individuals to hear the vowels and root of the word. The higher frequencies contain the consonants that we need to hear in order to distinguish the clarity of speech.

Being able to hear the vowels, or lower frequencies speech cues, allows us to hear that someone is talking to us, but when we do not hear the higher frequency speech cues, it prevents us from understanding what others are saying. When you have a high frequency hearing loss you can hear part of the message, but the other part, is lost in translation.

Fortunately, high frequency hearing loss can be treated with a proper diagnosis and appropriate amplification. If you or someone you know if suffering from hearing loss, the first step is to schedule an appointment. We offer free hearing screenings and can recommend your best course of treatment. Our office is located at 5178 Childrens Home Bradford Road, Greenville and we can be reached at 937-548-4242.

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