When you were a teenager and turned up the radio to full volume, you weren’t thinking about how this might damage your health. You were simply having a good time listening to your tunes.
As you grew, you may have indulged in nights out at loud concerts or the movies. You could have even picked a career where loud noise is the norm. Lasting 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 impairment can appear in children as young as 12. But sound is so powerful it can even be used as a weapon.
Can You Get Sick From Sound?
Actually, it Can. Certain sounds can evidently cause you to get ill according to doctors and scientists. This is the reason why.
How Health is Impacted by Loud Noise
The inner ear can be harmed by really loud sounds. You have little hairs that detect +
vibrations after they pass through the membrane of the eardrum. These hairs never grow back once they are destroyed. Many people, as they age, deal with sensorineural hearing loss caused by this.
Over 85 dB of volume for an 8 hour period will start to cause permanent damage. If you’re exposed to over 100 dB, lasting damage happens within 15 minutes. A loud concert is about 120 decibels, which triggers instant, permanent damage.
Noises can also impact cardiovascular health. Subjection to loud sounds can boost stress hormones, which can lead to clogged arteries, obesity, high blood pressure, and more. So when people who are subjected to loud noise complain about headaches and memory loss, this may explain why. These are strongly connected to the health of your cardiovascular system.
In fact, one study showed that sound volumes that start to impact the heart, and hormones are as low a 45 decibels. A person talking with a quiet inside voice is at this volume level.
Your Health is Impacted by Certain Sound Frequencies – Here’s How
Several years ago, diplomats in Cuba got sick when exposed to sounds. The sound in Cuba wasn’t very loud. They could block it out with a television. How might it have been able to make people ill?
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 someone scraped their nails on a chalkboard? Have you been driven nuts by someone continuously dragging their finger across a folded piece of paper? Have you ever needed to plug your ears during a violin recital?
If you’ve felt the force of high-pitched sounds, the pain you felt was in fact damage happening to your hearing. If you experienced this for a time, regularly exposed yourself to it, or were exposed at a high volume, then the damage might have become irreversible.
Research has also found that you don’t even need to be able to hear the sound. Damaging frequencies can come from lots of common devices such as machinery, trains, sensors, etc.
Extremely low-frequency sound called “infrasound” can also impact your health. The vibrations can make you feel disoriented and physically sick. Some people even get migraine symptoms like flashes of color and light.
How You Can Safeguard Your Hearing
Be mindful of how you feel about specific 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.
Get your hearing tested regularly by a hearing specialist to find out how your hearing might be changing over time.