When you were a kid you probably had no clue that turning the volume up on your music could lead to health problems. You just enjoyed the music.
As you got older, you probably indulged in nights out at loud movies and concerts. You could have even picked a job where loud noise is normal. Long term health concerns were the furthest thing from your mind.
You probably know differently now. Noise-induced hearing loss can appear in children as young as 12. But sound is so powerful it can actually be used as a weapon.
Can You Get Ill From Sound?
In fact, it Can. It’s evident to doctors and scientists alike that certain sound can make you ill. This is why.
How Health is Impacted by Loud Noise
The inner ear can be injured by extremely loud sounds. You have little hairs that detect +
vibrations after they pass through the eardrum membrane. Once these little hairs are damaged, they don’t ever regenerate or heal. This is what causes the sensorineural hearing loss that many people deal with as they age.
Damaging volume starts at 85 decibels over an 8 hour time frame. If you’re subjected to over 100 decibels, lasting damage takes place within 15 minutes. A loud concert is around 120 decibels, which causes instantaneous, irreversible damage.
Cardiovascular health can also be affected by noise. Obesity, high blood pressure, clogged arteries, and other vascular problems can be the consequence of increased stress hormones brought on by overly loud noise. This may explain the memory and headache issues that individuals exposed to loud noise complain about. Cardiovascular health is strongly connected to these symptoms.
Sound as low as 45 decibels can, as reported by one study, begin to impact your hormones and your heart. That’s roughly the volume of somebody with a quiet indoor voice.
Your Health is Impacted by Certain Sound Frequencies – Here’s How
Cuban diplomats got sick after being subjected to certain sounds several years ago. This sound wasn’t at a really high volume. It could even be blocked out by a television. So how could this type of sound cause people to get sick?
Frequency is the answer.
Even at lower volumes, considerable damage can be done by some high-frequency sound.
Have you ever cringed when somebody scratched their nails on a chalkboard? Have you ever pleaded with a co-worker to stop as they press their fingers across a folded piece of paper? Does the shrill sound of a violin put you on edge?
Damage was being done to your hearing if you’ve ever experienced pain from high-frequency sound. The damage may have become permanent if you’ve exposed yourself to this sort of sound repeatedly for longer periods of time.
Studies have also revealed that damage can happen even if you can’t hear the sound. Harmful frequencies can come from many common devices such as sensors, trains, machinery, etc.
Extremely low-frequency sound known as “infrasound” can also affect your health. The vibrations can make you feel dizzy and physically sick. Some even get flashes of color and light that are common in migraine sufferers.
How You Can Protect Your Hearing
Be mindful of how you feel about particular sounds. Reduce your exposure if particular sounds make you feel pain or other symptoms. If you’re feeling pain in your ears, you’re most likely doing damage.
Have your hearing tested regularly by a hearing specialist to understand how your hearing might be changing over time.