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Understanding Hearing and Pitch

Understanding Hearing and Pitch

Human Hearing

There is an upper and lower limit to the frequencies that animals can detect. These limits can vary significantly depending on the animal. The sound of a vacuum cleaner might not bother us, but it will send your dog running because of the painful high-pitched sound we can’t hear. Our range of hearing is relevant to our world experience. Cats hear the high-frequency squeaks of mice in the house, while elephants live in a world of low rumbles of far-away friends. Our experience is somewhere in between. A normal person with healthy hearing can hear sounds between 20 and 20,000 Hz. We are most sensitive to frequencies between 200 and 2000 Hz, which make up two-thirds of the sounds we come across. As we age, our detection range diminishes, starting with higher frequencies. However, this can also happen from repeated exposure to loud noise. Losing the ability to hear sounds impacts the way we perceive our world and communicate with others, having a detrimental effect on our lives.

Enjoying Music

The ability to accurately perceive pitch affects how we enjoy sounds like music. Our ability to identify pitch varies, with categories describing how accurately we can identify exact musical notations and differences between sounds.

Enjoying Music

Exposure to loud noise and side effects from medication are two of the major preventable causes of tinnitus. Industrial workers, transport workers, farmers and other workers surrounded by noisy tools or equipment should take necessary steps to protect their hearing at work.

People who listen to loud music often, whether it is through musical performance, through headphones or at clubs and concerts, are also at significant risk. If you’re taking medication, you should always discuss side effects with your doctor to check whether it can cause temporary tinnitus or make existing tinnitus worse.

Relative Pitch

Relative pitch describes the ability to identify or re-create a musical note by comparing it with and differentiating from another note.

Perfect Pitch

Also called absolute pitch, this is a rare phenomenon in which a person can identify a musical note without reference. For example, someone playing a key on the piano that you can’t see and being able to identify exactly what note it was.

Tone Deaf

This describes an inability to accurately perceive differences between musical notes. The term refers to a natural inability rather than a lack of musical training.

Hearing damage can cause problems with identifying pitch, which is vital for enjoying music. There are cases where people experience more damage to one ear, which can sometimes result in hearing two different pitches in each ear. This can have frustrating effects when it comes to listening to music.

High-frequency Hearing Loss

High-frequency hearing loss is one of the first and most typical signs of hearing damage. This is because high frequency sounds are perceived in the lower part of the inner ear, whereas lower sounds are perceived by hair cells located near the top.

High frequency hearing loss can be prevented by avoiding extended and repetitive exposure to noises above 75 decibels or by wearing hearing protection when exposed to these noisy environments. High frequency hearing loss can be treated with hearing aids.

Hearing Tests for High Frequency Hearing Loss

High frequency hearing loss can impede your ability to communicate with others, concentrate, identify surrounding dangers, and to enjoy music. Getting a hearing test is the best way to determine your hearing abilities and address any problems.

Hearing And Audiology can provide affordable hearing tests in Perth for adults and children. Get in touch with our team by calling (08) 9388 8003 or enquiring online. We are hearing specialists with more than 30 years of experience and three audiological clinics in Perth- Duncraig, Manning and Subiaco, and one in Geraldton.

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