From about 80 dB it is possible to suffer loss hearing after a couple of hours. But does it make a difference what frequencies those sound waves are or is it just the volume of the sound in dB that matters?

In your ear the first sounds you lose in case of hearing loss are the high sounds because they are at the beginning of your ear. So are high sounds also more dangerous?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Loudness is a very subjective measure. What is loud to you may be very quiet to someone else who has had much more exposure to it. Decibels are the main measure of sound, measuring the intensity or level of the sound. Anything over 85 decibels can start causing hearing loss after some exposure, so it really does not matter how "loud" you think what you are hearing is. It only matters how "intense" the sound waves are. $\endgroup$
    – White Fang
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 21:49
  • $\begingroup$ Relevant: gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/… (Health effects of exposure to Ultrasound and infrasound) $\endgroup$
    – user25568
    Commented Sep 30, 2016 at 9:37

1 Answer 1


Yes. http://american-hearing.org/disorders/noise-induced-hearing-loss/#causes Most of the discussion of noise-induced hearing loss talks about the loudness of the noise, only rarely mentioning that higher-pitched noise is more damaging. Probably because it is much easier to measure the amount than the frequency.

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    $\begingroup$ Measuring the frequency of a noise is fairly trivial these days, so I don't think that's the whole story. $\endgroup$
    – James
    Commented Sep 30, 2016 at 2:34

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