Will hearing high pitch sounds through headphones cause ear damage?

Q. Do you think high pitch sound through headphones will damage ears?

Answered by
Dr. Ashok Kumar Srivastava
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 23, 2017 and last reviewed on: Jul 02, 2023

Hi doctor,

I have sensitive hearing. Otherwise, I feel great and use hearing plugs when necessary. I fear that hard and high pitch sounds will destroy my ears. Today, when I was about to do a home hearing test on my mobile, and accidentally the volume was at its loudest settings. The first tone that came out of the headset was a high pitch sound of around 8000-9000 kHz. It felt very strong. I was very choked by this and took the headphones off immediately. The tone sounded in my ear is 1 second or less. My ears did not ring after but feel like they are blocked a little, or it is just a feeling. I am not sure how hard the sound pressure was inside the headphone, but I took my db meter and put it on the headphones and played the same tone again with the volume full and the level was about 74.6 decibels. I just want to know if I have anything to be scared of and if a small event like this can damage my ears permanently?



Welcome to icliniq.com.

I understand your concern. You are suffering from hyperacusis (increased sensitivity to sound). This is observed in the following conditions: 1) Labyrinthitis (infections of Labyrinth). 2) Early stages of degenerative changes in cochlear. 3) Palsy of stapedius muscle. 4) Tumors of the cerebellopontine angle. 5) Therefore, a thorough examination and relevant investigations are needed to work out your case for treatment.

Hi doctor,

My ENT doctor said that there is nothing wrong with my ears, but I have mild ETD. Do you think a tone like this can damage ears?



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

The tone you are observing is produced due to the auto firing of hair cells. This node is a sign to show that degenerative process may be in the labyrinth. I suggest you take Ginkgo biloba, Methycobal (Methylcobalamin) and vasodilator with the consent of your otoneurologist.

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