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Sounds that we cannot hear can damage your hearing

Think you have perfect hearing? There are still many sounds in the world that you cannot hear. The low range of human hearing means that there are sounds that people cannot hear. Our hearing is not sensitive to all frequencies and simply does not pick up very low or very high tones.

Our ability to hear sounds also changes with age . A healthy twenty-five-year-old man or woman has a much greater range of hearing than a fifty-five-year-old. In general, as we get older, we hear fewer high tones and it becomes more and more difficult for us to pick up soft sounds.

You must have seen special whistles that only dogs can hear. Unlike humans, animals (for example, elephants) hear sounds many times lower than those that humans can perceive. Unlike bats, humans cannot even hear the rubbing of their own fingers. Rubbing your fingers together creates ultrasound , which the human ear simply cannot detect.

High and low notes

The level of the tone is determined by the speed of the vibrations. The faster the sound source vibrates, the higher the note sounds. The speed of vibration is called frequency. A sound source that vibrates one hundred times per second has a frequency of 100 hertz (Hz for short). Our hearing range for low and high frequencies is approximately 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz.

Loud and soft sounds

Sound intensity is expressed in decibels (dB). A sound that is very weak, but can already be detected by the human ear, is marked 0 dB.

0 dB = hearing threshold
40 dB = whisper
60 dB = talk
80 dB = shout
90 dB = busy bar
100 dB = disco
120 dB = pain threshold

A study in the journal Royal Society Open Science (2014) revealed that even though we cannot hear some sounds, loud low-frequency sounds can negatively affect our hearing. Low-frequency sounds, such as those produced by wind turbines, block thermal power plants and even air conditioning systems, can be a risk .

It can also help protect your hearing from low-frequency sounds soundproofing the apartment. Special materials that are used for soundproofing minimize the penetration of external sounds into the apartment and thus safely dampen even dangerous sounds that you cannot hear, but which threaten your health.

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