When you were younger you probably had no idea that turning the volume up on your music could result in health concerns. You were just having a good time listening to your tunes.
As you got older, you may have indulged in nights out at loud movies and concerts. You may have even chosen a job where loud noise is normal. Long term health problems were the furthest thing from your mind.
Now that you’re older and more mature, you more likely know better. Noise-induced hearing loss can show up in kids as young as 12. But sound is so powerful it can even be used as a weapon.
Can You Get Ill From Sound?
In a word, yes. It’s apparent to doctors and scientists alike that specific sound can make you ill. Here’s the reason why.
How Health is Affected by Loud Noise
The inner ear can be harmed by extremely loud sounds. After sound goes through the membrane of the eardrum it’s picked up by tiny hairs in the ears. Once these little hairs are damaged, they don’t ever heal or grow back. Many people, as they age, deal with sensorineural hearing loss caused by this.
Damaging volume starts at 85 decibels for an 8 hour period of time. If you’re exposed to over 100 dB, long-term damage occurs within 15 minutes. A loud concert is about 120 decibels, which brings about instantaneous, irreversible harm.
Noises can also impact cardiovascular wellness. High blood pressure, clogged arteries, obesity, and other vascular issues can be the result of elevated stress hormones brought on by overly loud noise. This might explain the memory and headache issues that individuals subjected to loud noise complain about. These are strongly related to the health of your cardiovascular system.
In fact, one study confirmed that sound volumes that start to impact the heart, and hormones are as low a 45 decibels. A person speaking with a quiet inside voice is at this volume level.
Your Health is Impacted by Some Sound Frequencies – Here’s How
Several years ago, diplomats in Cuba got sick when exposed to sounds. This sound wasn’t at a very loud volume. They could drown it out with a television. So how could this kind of sound cause people to get sick?
Frequency is the answer.
High frequency sounds like the one experienced in Cuba can do significant damage at lower volumes.
Have you ever cringed when someone scratched their nails on a chalkboard? Have you been driven nuts by somebody continuously dragging their finger over a folded piece of paper? Have you ever needed to cover your ears during a violin recital?
If you’ve felt the force of high-frequency sounds, the pain you felt was actually damage happening to your hearing. The damage could have become permanent if you’ve subjected yourself to this kind of sound repeatedly for longer time periods.
Studies have also discovered that you don’t even need to be able to hear the sound. Harmful frequencies can come from lots of common devices such as sensors, trains, machinery, etc.
Extremely low-frequency sound known as “infrasound” can also impact your health. It can vibrate the body in such a way that the person feels nauseated and disoriented. Some people even experience migraine symptoms like flashes of color and light.
How You Can Safeguard Your Hearing
Be mindful of how you feel about specific sounds. If you’re feeling pain or other symptoms when you’re exposed to particular sounds, limit your exposure. If you’re feeling pain in your ears, you’re most likely doing damage.
Have your hearing checked regularly by a hearing specialist to find out how your hearing might be changing over time.