How does the Ear get damaged at specific frequencies

Loud sound damage the ear and NIHL is generally a decrease of hearing sensitivity in the higher frequencies especially at 4000hz. This typical 4khz notch is due to the transfer function of the ear.
It’s been also known that if you play for example a 1khz pure-tone at huge volume you will most likely damage your hearing at that frequency which makes sense.

I got tinnitus myself after I was testing my ears with high pitch pure tones. It was ok for me to hear from 20hz to 12khz at a low volume but I had to turn up the volume loud to be able to hear 13khz and 14khz and huge volume to hear 15khz. It was at that time when I was trying so hard to hear 15khz I first started noticing dull hearing and headache and after one day I got tinnitus. My T is a high pitch hiss that varies from 6 to 10khz and my hearing loss start after 5khz (my hearing is perfect at 4khz though, -10db)

My question is how come I got damage at 6khz while I was playing only pure tones at 14 and 15khz that are at dangerous volume? Is it that the auditory cortex process all high frequencies “on one side” and thus you can damage your healthy hearing with high frequencies that you can’t hear?

I am also wondering why did I not have tinnitus before because I don’t think I did all the damage in one day, it was hard for me to hear above 12khz that day when I was testing my ears which means I already have hearing loss, but I know 100% I didn’t have tinnitus, I am always the person who is really aware of what I am hearing and I always enjoyed silence.

Cochlea is a spiral. I don’t know exact mapping of frequencies but it could be that 14/15 khz are neighbours to 6khz when you look at next inner part of the spiral, so that they got hit somehow.

Also, could be consequence of property of the sound bouncing around, since that 6khz is roughly the half… Don’t know much about sound.

And losing hearing ability above 8khz is not hearing loss, it is aging. :slight_smile:

It’s perfectly possible to permanently damage hearing in just one day. Just remember those sound cannons. It’s one blast, and voila, permanent disability.

I lost mine overnight, woke up and no hearing anymore. Didn’t even do anything the night before and they don’t know what exactly happened.

I remember one person said that during the video call, nothing special, heard a tone going up, and that was it, hearing loss.

So your loss could be either damage or sudden or combination. If we’d have a tech able to determine the exact causes, then we’d probably have the tech to mitigate them better.

It’s suggested that the pathology of the cochlear leads to the concentration of energy at the first bend.
This is typically 3-6Khz but may vary by individual.
It’s not entirely understood if particular frequencies cause more damage than others, though it’s likely that waves with higher overall energy cause more damage.
Damage is understood to be initially slightly reversible and slight threshold shifts can show this.
Longer term IHC and OHC damage is usually cumulative.


Well all the high frequencies reside in the end of the Cochlea Base. 14/15 khz are neighbours to 1250hz

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Is that why you often see a bit of a kick at the end of the ski-slope?

Yes, it’s often tick shaped. Particularly in the case of noise damage.