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  #1  
Old 04-12-2010, 02:59 AM
votard votard is offline
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Default Hearing damage with frequencies outside the human hearing range?

I was wondering if frequencies that you can't hear (outside "roughly" 20hz-20khz) can damage your hearing? Like extremely low infrasound and extremely high ultrasound.
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Old 04-13-2010, 01:05 AM
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Hercules Hercules is offline
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Default Re: Hearing damage with frequencies outside the human hearing range?

It's a good question votard, and one that I've thought about for many years - I've never found any studies into the matter but my 2c worth would be:

- ultra high frequencies would be unlikely to damage your hearing as your hearing is "generated" by the vibration of the hairs within your ears - the shorter the hair the higher the frequency it vibrates at - thus, (seeing we can't hear above e.g. 20KHz) there are probably no hairs short enough to vibrate at that frequency. Now whether the lower hamonics are affected is another question altogether......

- ultra low frequencies - probably the same answer, but when a frequency gets down near the resonant frequency of your body (a few Hz) it can make you feel very sick........
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Old 04-13-2010, 01:16 AM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Default Re: Hearing damage with frequencies outside the human hearing range?

I don't know either but agree with Hercules assessment. Makes sense to me.
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Old 04-13-2010, 02:16 PM
Big_Philly
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Default Re: Hearing damage with frequencies outside the human hearing range?

Depending on the amplitude they could. Any pressure wave above a certain threshold will puncture your ear drum. I think you'll get it soomer from low-frequency vibrations; those are higher pressure fluctuations (relative to intensity) than high-frequency vibrations.
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