Ask an Audiologist- High Pitch Noises and How to Detect Them - Hearing Aid Service - (2023)

December 11th, 2017 | Audiologist | by Mike Prangley

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Ask an Audiologist

I am the parent of a three week old baby and have a house full of electrical charges and devices. Before the baby we found one of our phone charges was emitting a high pitched whine only younger people could hear and replaced it. The question is, would such a sound in the house harm my baby in any way, and as a parent with less sensitive hearing, how could I detect it? Is my smartphone sensitive enough to detect these noises?

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Audiologist Response

Hi there, this is a great question and congratulations on the birth of your baby! Did your baby have his/her hearing screened at birth as part of the Infant Hearing Program? The human range of hearing is typically between 20-20000 Hz and as we age, we begin to lose the ability to hear those much higher frequencies. Younger ears can certainly hear sounds we can’t!

My colleague Andreas put it best in the last “ask an audiologist” question. Consider noise like a dose of medication,where getting too much in terms of duration (how long your infant hears the sound) or intensity (how loud the sound is) can be harmful. If it helps, another example is sunbathing. It’s fine to go out in the sun, but the more intense the exposure (unfiltered,around noon time or close to the equator) and the longer you stay in the sun all increase your risk for a burn. Regardless of the what the noise is, our ears don’t really care what kind of soundit is, too much is too much. Too loud or too long still causes harm and the damage typicallycan’t be undone. 80-85 decibels for 8 hours is often legal noise exposure, depends on which province or state you live in. The easiest way to determine how loud this whine sound is would be to download a sound level meter app (most are free). Some apps will measure only decibels (loudness), while some will measure decibel level and frequency (Hz) as well too, that’s the one you want. One that measures both. Chances are the decibel level of the whine is in a safe level as 85 decibels is very loud (piano at full volume for example according to World Health Organization).

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Download the free app (couple decent ones at 2-3 dollars as well) and measure the output of that whine sound. If it measures really high on the sound level meter, I would probably replace the device causing the sound, or move it to an area away from where the baby will be. The further the child is away from the sound, the quieter the whine would be heard (if at all). Children’s toys can also be very noisy and this app would also help down the road when your baby is playing with potentially noisy toys. Hearing loss is cumulative and every little bit of prevention goes a long way.

If there are any concerns with your child’s hearing as they develop, it would be best to have him/her assessed by an Audiologist, ideally one with pediatric experience. Please contact us here at Hearing Solutions if you would like to book an appointment with a pediatric audiologist once your child is old enough to test by Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (4-6 months). If there is not one available in your area, we can advise you to an appropriate location

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Thanks again for your question.

Mike Prangley is an Audiologist registered with CASLPO workingfor Hearing Solutions. Currently, Mike sees patients at theMasonville Place Hearing Solutions clinic in London, Ontario.

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How do you test for high pitched noise? ›

The easiest way to determine how loud this whine sound is would be to download a sound level meter app (most are free). Some apps will measure only decibels (loudness), while some will measure decibel level and frequency (Hz) as well too, that's the one you want. One that measures both.

Can an audiologist help with noise sensitivity? ›

When everyday sounds are too loud. Audiologists have been trained to support patients struggling with sounds being too soft as often experienced with elevated hearing thresholds and ringing in the ears.

What can cause a high pitched noise in house? ›

It's probably the fan on your heating air conditioning unit inside the house pushing air through the vents, maybe the vents are too small, maybe there's a piece of metal that's whistling in the wind.

Why does my tinnitus get louder when I swallow? ›

Audiologist Response

When you swallow, chew, or yawn, the eustachian tube – which connects the middle ear to the back of your throat – opens to allow the pressure inside your ear to be the same as the external environment. This equalises the pressure and can cause almost a popping like sound to occur.

Is there an app to detect high pitch sound? ›

"Mosquitone Detector" is a sound measurement app that detects high frequency noises and ultrasonic sounds hard to hear for human ears. It may have been exposed to artificial high-frequency noise while you do not notice. This app can detect and visualize such high-frequency noises.

Is there an app to detect high-frequency sound? ›

"High-Frequency Noise Monitor" is a high-frequency noise analysis tool that specializes in high-frequency bands above 8 kHz. You may be exposed to artificial high-frequency noise on a daily basis that is inaudible to the human ear. This app allows you to monitor such high frequency noises and examine their occurrence.

Why is my hearing aid making high pitched noise? ›

Hearing aid feedback occurs when sound waves already amplified by your device escape your ear canal and are picked up by the hearing aid microphone. This causes the sound to be reamplified and can create a whistling or squealing noise.

Why do I always hear a high pitched noise? ›

Tinnitus is usually caused by an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, an ear injury or a problem with the circulatory system. For many people, tinnitus improves with treatment of the underlying cause or with other treatments that reduce or mask the noise, making tinnitus less noticeable.

How do you deal with extreme noise sensitivity? ›

Treatment for hyperacusis
  1. sound therapy to get you used to everyday sounds again, and may involve wearing ear pieces that make white noise.
  2. cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to change the way you think about your hyperacusis and reduce anxiety.

How do you get rid of high pitched noise? ›

How to cancel/attenuate high pitched sounds in my apartment?
  1. Weatherproof your front door. Sealing the leaks and air gaps around the front door will quiet the chatter from in and around the front door. ...
  2. Door curtains. ...
  3. Acoustic panels. ...
  4. Soundproof a bedroom door. ...
  5. Reduce the reflected noise.
May 11, 2022

What does a high pitched noise mean? ›

adjective. A high-pitched sound is shrill and high in pitch. A woman squealed in a high-pitched voice. Synonyms: piercing, high, sharp, penetrating More Synonyms of high-pitched.

Are high pitched noises harmful? ›

Health Effects

The frequency or pitch can also have some effect, since high-pitched sounds are more damaging than low-pitched sounds. Noise may tire out the inner ear, causing temporary hearing loss. After a period of time away from the noise hearing may be restored.

Can B12 cured my tinnitus? ›

Pilot Study Results

The patients in Group A with a B12 deficiency showed improvement in their tinnitus severity index scores following treatment. Unfortunately, there was no improvement in the treatment group participants who did not have a vitamin deficiency.

What foods trigger tinnitus? ›

People with tinnitus can experience a worsening of their symptoms when exposed to salicylates, according to the Journal of Neurosciences. Foods that contain salicylates include fruits such as dried fruit, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberry, oranges, pineapples, raisins, raspberries, strawberries and tangerines.

What are examples of high-frequency sounds? ›

High-Frequency Sounds
  • Whistles.
  • Mosquito.
  • Computer devices.
  • Screaming.
  • Squeaking.
  • Glass breaking.
  • Nails on a chalkboard.
Feb 12, 2020

What devices can detect sound waves? ›

Microphones and loudspeakers are the most commonly available sound transducer, but other lots of other types of sound transducers available which use piezoelectric devices to detect very high frequencies, hydrophones designed to be used underwater for detecting underwater sounds and sonar transducers which both ...

What device can detect sound? ›

The most common mechanical detector of sound is the microphone. It has a membrane that is made to vibrate by the sound. That vibration is changed to electrical signals, which are then sent to a processor or electronic circuitry for amplification or such.

Can humans detect ultrasonic sounds? ›

An ultrasound is a type of oscillating sound pressure wave that has a higher frequency than human hearing is able to detect. An ultrasound is not a unique type of sound, therefore, but is classified differently due to the fact that humans cannot hear it.

How do I stop my hearing aid from screeching? ›

Place your finger on your hearing aid (if it is a custom device) or the ear mold in your ear, push it in a little deeper. If this stops the squealing for a moment then your hearing aid or ear mold may be too loose in your ear. When a hearing aid or mold isn't fitting snugly in your ear, a hearing aid can squeal.

Why can I hear a high pitched noise but no one else can? ›

There is, however, another possibility that must be considered: hearing a high-pitched sound that no one else hears COULD mean that you have a hearing disorder called tinnitus or an acute sensitivity to sounds called hyperacusis.

At what age do you stop hearing high pitched noises? ›

Adults lose their ability to hear sounds above 15,000 Hz starting at the age of about 25. In laboratory conditions, the human hearing frequency range can go up to 28,000 Hz or as low as 12 Hz.

Can anxiety cause high pitched noise? ›

For example, common descriptions of the ringing in the ears (tinnitus) anxiety symptoms include: Hearing a high-pitched ringing, low rumbling, swooshing, sloshing, buzzing, roaring, whooshing, whistling, hissing, whizzing, chirping, beating, humming, pulsing, throbbing, and a pumping sound in an ear or ears.

Is it normal to hear high pitched noise in silence not tinnitus? ›

Summary: Phantom noises, that mimic ringing in the ears associated with tinnitus, can be experienced by people with normal hearing in quiet situations, according to new research.

Which nerve damage causes hyperacusis? ›

Your auditory nerve carries sound signals from your inner ear to your brain so you can hear. Another theory is that damage to the facial nerve causes hyperacusis. The facial nerve controls the stapedius muscle, which regulates sound intensity in your ear.

What are the signs and symptoms of noise related hearing damage? ›

If you have any of these signs or symptoms, you may have hearing loss caused by noise:
  • Speech and other sounds seem muffled.
  • Trouble hearing high-pitched sounds (e.g., birds, doorbell, telephone, alarm clock)
  • Trouble understanding conversations when you are in a noisy place, such as a restaurant.

How do you block noise mentally? ›

How to Stop Your Noisy Brain
  1. #1. Let go of what you thought would happen. Clinging to your expectations blocks out possibilities. ...
  2. #2. Be curious. Enter conversations and situations wanting to learn more than you already know. ...
  3. #3. Laugh it off. When you are laughing, your mind is clear of clutter. ...
  4. #4. Don't give up.
May 4, 2012

Can a high pitched voice be fixed? ›

Basically, for a high pitched voice- without other cause- we surgically remove a thin strip of cartilage from the voice box, as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia. This allows the vocal cord to relax and lowers the pitch of the voice. Its results are immediate and gratifying.

Does high pitched tinnitus go away? ›

Tinnitus is not a permanent condition, and in many cases, it will go away entirely by itself. For most people, tinnitus will disappear after a few weeks, or even a few days depending on the possible causes behind it.

What type of hearing aid is best for high-frequency loss? ›

Typically, the best type of hearing aid for high-frequency hearing loss is what's known as a receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) with a dome that sits in the ear canal. This style has an open fit so it doesn't muffle the low-frequency sounds that you still hear naturally.

What medical conditions cause high-frequency hearing loss? ›

Medical conditions that cause high-frequency hearing loss include: Severe, untreated middle ear infections. - Acoustic Neuromas: Tumors that exert pressure on the auditory nerve and cause one-sided hearing damage and tinnitus (ringing or buzzing sounds in the ears).

What level of hearing loss requires a hearing aid? ›

Hearing Loss Ranges (in decibels)

Some forms of hearing loss can be treated with a hearing aid. If your hearing falls into the 26-70 dB range (mild to moderate), a hearing aid can be very effective in restoring sounds for your daily life.

How did William Shatner cure his tinnitus? ›

A device resembling an hearing aid was placed in Shatner's damaged right ear. So-called white sound is beamed (so to speak) into his ear, greatly reducing the chronic ringing. "We have an 80-percent success rate," Mattox said.

What vitamin should I take for tinnitus? ›

Vitamin B12 is essential when it comes to neurologic and circulatory functions. A B12 deficiency may impair the vascular and nervous systems of the auditory system and cause hearing loss and tinnitus.

What vitamins should I take for tinnitus? ›

A higher intake of Vitamin B12 was associated with reduced odds of tinnitus[2]. Vitamin B12 deficiency is more common in vegetarians and vegans and there is some evidence that deficiency is more common among people with tinnitus[3-5].

Why does Xanax help tinnitus? ›

Xanax has been used to treat tinnitus symptoms and may work by reducing the anxiety and distress it causes. Unfortuately Xanax is potentially habit forming and can cause sedation and memory loss.

Can Benadryl help tinnitus? ›

Antihistamine can help minimize your tinnitus symptoms — but only if they result from allergies because it will help unclog your sinus cavities and equalize the pressure within the ear. It's also important to note that the antihistamine will provide temporary relief. It is not a permanent fix for the tinnitus symptoms.

What medications reduce tinnitus? ›

The medications most often used in tinnitus management are psychoactive drugs that treat the behavioral issues related to tinnitus.
Common antidepressant drugs used in relation to tinnitus include:
  • Clomipramine (Anafranil)
  • Desipramine (Norpramin)
  • Imipramine (Tofranil)
  • Nortriptyline (Pamelor)
  • Protriptyline (Vivactil)

What spice gets rid of tinnitus? ›

So, it's a bit of a game changer that tinnitus symptoms could be alleviated by the powerful compounds within turmeric. Studies have shown that turmeric extracts have a positive anti-inflammatory response in ear conditions.

What drink helps tinnitus? ›

Ginger Spice Iced Tea

There is some research which shows that ginger may be able to help relieve pressure levels in the ear that may possibly trigger tinnitus. When you integrate it with other spices, you get a refreshing and Delicious summertime drink.

What vitamin deficiency can cause tinnitus? ›

[23] Vitamin B12 deficiency may cause the demyelination of neurons in the cochlear nerve, resulting in hearing loss and tinnitus.

Where are high pitched sounds detected? ›

Hair cells—sensory cells sitting on top of the basilar membrane—ride the wave. Hair cells near the wide end of the snail-shaped cochlea detect higher-pitched sounds, such as an infant crying. Those closer to the center detect lower-pitched sounds, such as a large dog barking.

How can you tell high and low sounds? ›

Amplitude is a measure of how loud or quiet a sound is, whereas pitch is a measure of how high or low a sound is. High sounds can be quiet or loud, and low sounds can be quiet or loud too.

How do I find out what noise is in my house? ›

To determine the source of your sound:
  1. Turn off all your circuit breakers.
  2. Walk through your home and see if you can still hear the hum or buzz. ...
  3. Turn on each circuit, one by one, and then walk through your home to see if the noise has returned yet.

What is that high pitched noise I hear? ›

Tinnitus is usually caused by an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, an ear injury or a problem with the circulatory system. For many people, tinnitus improves with treatment of the underlying cause or with other treatments that reduce or mask the noise, making tinnitus less noticeable.

At what age do you stop hearing high-pitched noises? ›

Adults lose their ability to hear sounds above 15,000 Hz starting at the age of about 25. In laboratory conditions, the human hearing frequency range can go up to 28,000 Hz or as low as 12 Hz.

What does high-pitched tinnitus sound like? ›

For many, it's a ringing sound, while for others, it's whistling, buzzing, chirping, hissing, humming, roaring, or even shrieking. The sound may seem to come from one ear or both, from inside the head, or from a distance. It may be constant or intermittent, steady or pulsating.

What does high-frequency hearing loss sound like? ›

When we have a high-frequency hearing loss, it can cause us to have difficulty understanding high-pitched voices. Children's voices and women's voices can become difficult to hear clearly. People with high-frequency hearing loss are also likely to have difficulty hearing high-pitched beeping and bird songs.

What are examples of high sounds? ›

High frequency sounds include: Birds chirping. A child's squeal.
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  • Dogs barking.
  • Lawn mowers.
  • The sound of thunder.
  • In speech, consonants like “j,” “u,” and “z”
Apr 26, 2021

What are high low sounds examples? ›

Blowing a whistle produces a high pitch sound while hitting a drum produces a low pitch sound. You will realize that a violin produces a high pitch sound, while human heartbeat has a low pitch sound. In a similar way, chirping of birds is a high pitch sound, while a lion's roar is a low pitch sound.

What is the difference between a loud sound and a high sound? ›

This depends on the frequency of vibration of the waves. If the frequency of vibration is higher, we say that the sound is shrill and has a high pitch. On the other hand, if the sound is said to have a lower pitch then it has a lower frequency of vibration.

What is a high pitched chirping noise at night? ›

Katydids and crickets are excellent examples of nighttime noise-making insects. These insects, which belong to the same Order (Orthoptera) make noises in similar ways: by rubbing their wings together. These insects usually make their high pitched chirping noise at night to attract mates or to warn off predators.

How can you tell if a sound is a noise? ›

It is produced by nature, musical instruments, human voice, etc. Noise is an unwanted and unpleasant sound produced by horns of vehicles, by machines, etc. If a musical sound is made too loud, it becomes a noise.

How do I stop my ears from ringing high pitch? ›

If tinnitus is especially noticeable in quiet settings, try using a white noise machine to mask the noise from tinnitus. If you don't have a white noise machine, a fan, soft music or low-volume radio static also may help. Limit alcohol, caffeine and nicotine.

What causes difficulty hearing high pitched sounds? ›

High-frequency hearing loss occurs when the tiny hair-like sensory hearing cells in your cochlea (inner ear) are damaged. These hair cells, known as stereocilia, are responsible for translating the sounds your ears collect into electrical impulses, which your brain eventually interprets as recognizable sound.


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