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High and low frequency deafness


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High and low frequency deafness


Deafness is rarely spread evenly across the range of frequencies used in speech. One of the most common types of deafness is the loss of high frequencies/tones. Vowel sounds A.E.I.O.U. have a low frequency and so they may be heard, but many consonants have a high frequency sound i.e. S.T.K.P. etc and if they cannot be heard then words cannot be easily discriminated from each other.

Here are some examples:

People with high frequency deafness are only able to hear the lower frequencies, i.e. men's voices. They may be unable to hear consonant sounds.

People with a low frequency deafness are only able to hear the higher frequencies, i.e. women's voices. They may not be able to hear vowels. High frequency deafness is commonly associated with ageing.

Sounds can build up in intensity so that there may be a sudden increase in perceived loudness to the point of which it is painful. This is known as recruitment. It can make amplification and tolerance of noisy situations difficult.

If you have any questions or would like further information on courses or to book training please contact: jeanette@wcts.org.uk

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