When you were younger you most likely had no idea that cranking up the volume on your music could lead to health concerns. You were just having a good time listening to your tunes.
You had fun when you were growing up, going to loud concerts and movies. It might even be common for you to have experienced loud noise at work. Still, you didn’t think it had any long-term effects.
Now that you are older and more mature, you more likely know better. Noise-induced hearing impairment 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. Certain sounds can evidently make you sick according to doctors and scientists. Here’s the reason why.
How Health is Affected by Loud Noise
Really loud sounds injure the inner ear. After sound goes through the membrane of the eardrum it’s picked up by tiny hairs in the ears. These hairs never regenerate once they are destroyed. Many people, as they age, deal with sensorineural hearing loss caused by this.
Harmful volume starts at 85 decibels for an 8 hour period of time. It only takes 15 minutes for long-term impairment to develop at 100 dB. A loud concert is around 120 decibels, which triggers immediate, irreversible damage.
Cardiovascular health can also be impacted by noise. Obesity, high blood pressure, clogged arteries, and other vascular problems can be the consequence of increased stress hormones brought on by excessively loud noise. This could explain the memory and headache problems that individuals subjected to loud noise complain about. Cardiovascular health is directly related to these symptoms.
Sound as low as 45 decibels can, based on one study, start to have an impact on your hormones and your heart. A person talking with a quiet inside voice is at this volume level.
Your Health is Impacted by Some Sound Frequencies – This is How
Several years ago, diplomats in Cuba became sick when subjected to sounds. This sound wasn’t at a very high volume. They could drown it out with a television. So how could this type of sound make people sick?
The answer is frequency.
High frequency sounds such as the one experienced in Cuba can do considerable harm at lower volumes.
Have you ever cringed when somebody scratched their nails on a chalkboard? Have you ever begged a co-worker to stop as they run their fingers across a folded piece of paper? Does the shrill sound of a violin put you on edge?
If you’ve felt the power of high-frequency sounds, the pain you felt was in fact damage happening to your hearing. If you experienced this for a time, regularly subjected yourself to it, or were exposed at a high volume, then the damage could have become irreversible.
Research has also discovered that damage can be done even if you can’t hear the sound. Damaging frequencies can come from many common devices such as sensors, trains, machinery, etc.
Extremely low-frequency sound called “infrasound” can also impact your health. It can resonate the body in such a way that you feel nauseated and disoriented. Some even experience flashes of light and color that are common in migraine sufferers.
How You Can Protect Your Hearing
Be aware of how you feel about particular sounds. Minimize your exposure if specific sounds make you feel pain or other symptoms. If you’re feeling pain in your ears, you’re most likely doing damage.
In order to understand how your hearing might be changing over time, get in touch with a hearing specialist for an exam.