Can high-frequency hearing loss be reversed?

As the name suggests, this type of hearing loss refers specifically to a person losing the ability to hear high frequencies, and in many cases, can eventually lead to the use of a hearing aid. This type of hearing loss can also be an early sign of more significant hearing loss to come. By identifying any hearing problems via a hearing test, there may be steps you’re able to take to treat, mitigate and prevent further hearing loss from occurring. Let’s take a look at the causes of high-frequency hearing loss and answer the question, can high-frequency hearing loss be reversed?

What causes high-frequency hearing loss?

There are many causes of high-frequency hearing loss, but the most common are aging, repeated exposure to loud noise, and underlying medical conditions which can also affect hearing. Your ear contains sensory cells which detect vibrations in the air and are interpreted by your brain as sound. If these cells become damaged, you can lose the ability to hear certain frequencies.

As the cells which distinguish higher frequencies are near the base of the cochlear and therefore closer to the outside of the ear, they tend to get damaged first, which is why these frequencies are usually the first to go as we get older, or whenever hearing loss occurs.

Can high-frequency hearing loss be reversed?

In most cases, high-frequency hearing loss can not be reversed. However, that doesn’t mean that treatments don’t exist that can help to alleviate the symptoms of the problem.

The main treatment for most hearing loss is hearing aids. A hearing aid is a device that can amplify sounds of certain frequencies, making it easier to hear them. Most hearing loss is gradual and partial, more like turning down the volume as opposed to pressing the mute button, so hearing aids can essentially reverse the effects of some hearing loss. As hearing aids become smaller, less intrusive and more sensitive, they become better and better at offering as clear a sound as possible for the user.

High-frequency hearing loss prevention

Even though high-frequency hearing loss can not be reversed, that doesn’t mean you should see it as an inevitability. There are many steps in your day-to-day life that you can take in order to protect yourself from hearing loss.

The main thing you can do to prevent all hearing loss, not just that of high frequencies, is to reduce your exposure to loud noise – especially noises of over 85 decibels, which is internationally recognised as the safe limit for your ears. Avoiding loud noises as much as possible will help extend the lifespan of the cells in your ears responsible for hearing, so in this case, prevention is much better than a cure.

You may be exposed to noises of 85 decibels and over more often than you might expect. For example, hairdryers, lawnmowers and power tools may put out that volume or higher, and in some cases, ear defenders or earplugs may feel excessive, but if you are going to be around sustained loud noises regularly, it’s definitely worth looking into what equipment may help to protect your ears.


If the answer to ‘can high-frequency hearing loss be reversed?’ has concerned you, or you just have questions about hearing loss and hearing aids, please contact us at Almond Hearing on 01506 888 478. Book a hearing test in Livingston and one of our experts will be happy to assess your hearing.