Does hearing loss in humans occur in frequency ranges or is it simply an all or nothing deal?

Question by singlewhitemalekc70: Does hearing loss in humans occur in frequency ranges or is it simply an all or nothing deal?
My question has to do with different frequencies of noise. Its pretty common knowledge that hearing loss occurs from exposure to excessively loud noise levels over extended periods of time. But do different frequencies of noises target different areas of hearing loss depending on the frequency of the noise exposure? In other words, is it possible that an electric guitarist who played his guitar at extremely high frequency noise levels could damage his hearing in that frequency range but have no hearing loss of really low frequency noises and vice versa? And to take this to an extreme, has this ever been scientifically tested? Exposing a mouse to a single frequency noise for prolonged periods of time which would guarantee hearing loss at that frequency but leave all other ranges of the mouses hearing in tact?

Best answer:

Answer by Steve P
What? Speak up I can’t hear you.

I have some hearing loss. Mostly in right ear due to shooting a pistol without hearing protection(stupid of me).
Had my hearing checked and found out my loss was in certain ranges of tone.
I can hear higher and lower tones but have trouble with mid tones. Mostly people speaking especially when they speak softly.

Check with an audiologist about different types of hearing loss.

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4 Responses to “Does hearing loss in humans occur in frequency ranges or is it simply an all or nothing deal?”

  1. MLBfreek35 says:

    Not really frequency but volume. There are small bones which can become misaligned and ducts which can become blocked, and if either happens, yourhearing would be quieter

    But whatever the case, all frequencies will be transmitted the same

    However its also possible to damage nerve cells with the function of separate frequencies, so now that I think of it, you may be right. However, it is much more rare to see damaged nerve cells than to see damaged bones or clogged ducts. .

  2. The_Doc_Man says:

    It happens either way.

    Musicians frequently suffer either high-end or low-end frequency response degradation. For me (keyboard man), it was mid- to low-frequency loss. For our guitarist, high end losses.

    Guys who work construction that involves jackhammers or demolition tend to suffer wider loss ranges than some folks because percussion from explosions and jackhammers tends to be frequency-rich. I.e. lots of frequencies at once. And very loud, too. So loss is wide-spread. Same for jet engine mechanics who don’t protect their hearing. Auto mechanics tend to lose low-end and mid-low range.

    Of course, if you have a disease, you could lose all frequencies at once.

    Yes, it has been tested many times. Mice and other animals, and also some people volunteered for studies since they were already in a suspected bad environment. Many studies of hearing loss have been done. Extremely strong “YES” to the selectivity-of-effect question.

  3. smittybo20 says:

    The human ear can loose hearing in several ranges of frequencies. I lost normal hearing in my right ear. I cannot hear people speak, TV, Radio, and such. But during hearing tests, I can hear pitches that I cannot hear with me left ear. My loss was attrubited to an explosion in my earlier Army days. So it didn’t occur over a period of time, but as an injury.

    Yes, after going through many, many tests and from numerous doctor visits, I have learned that a person can loose hearing by being exposed to different levels of frequencies.

  4. Hearing Professional says:

    In most cases noise exposure causes damage to the hearing centering around 3000 – 4000Hz. It is called a 4kHz noise notch. This is due to the anatomy of the ear not the nature of the noise exposure. Research has shown that this hearing loss develops with low and high pitch noise exposure.


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