When you were a kid you most likely had no clue that turning the volume up on your music could lead to health issues. You were simply having fun listening to your tunes.
As you got older, you probably indulged in evenings out at loud movies and concerts. It may even be common for you to have experienced loud noise at work. Lasting health concerns were the furthest thing from your mind.
Now that you’re older and more mature, you probably know better. Noise-induced hearing loss can show up in children as young as 12. But sound is so powerful it can even be used as a weapon.
Can Sound Make You Sick?
In fact, it Can. Certain sounds can evidently make you sick according to scientists and doctors. This is why.
How Health is Impacted by Loud Noise
The inner ear can be damaged by very loud sounds. You have little hairs that pick up +
vibrations after they pass through the membrane of the eardrum. Once these small hairs are destroyed, they don’t ever regenerate or heal. Many people, as they age, deal with sensorineural hearing loss caused by this.
Over 85 dB of volume for an 8 hour period will begin to cause lasting impairment. It only takes 15 minutes for lasting damage to occur at 100 dB. A loud concert is about 120 decibels, which causes instant, permanent damage.
Cardiovascular wellness can also be affected by noise. Obesity, high blood pressure, clogged arteries, and other vascular concerns can be the outcome of increased stress hormones induced by excessively loud noise. So when people who are exposed to loud noise complain about headaches and memory loss, this could explain why. Cardiovascular health is strongly linked to these symptoms.
Sound as low as 45 decibels can, based on one study, start to impact your hormones and your heart. A person speaking with a quiet indoor voice is at this volume level.
How Sound Frequency Affects Health
Several years ago, diplomats in Cuba became sick when subjected to sounds. This sound was not at a really loud volume. They could drown it out with a tv. So how could this type of sound cause people to get sick?
Frequency is the answer.
Even at lower volumes, appreciable harm can be done by certain high-frequency sound.
Does the sound of nails on a chalkboard make you cringe? Have you been driven crazy by someone 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 power 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 may have become irreversible.
Studies have also revealed that damage can be done even if you can’t hear the sound. Damaging frequencies can come from many common devices like machinery, trains, sensors, etc.
Very low-frequency sound called “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.
Protecting Your Hearing
Be aware of how you feel about certain sounds. If you’re feeling pain or other symptoms when you’re exposed to particular sounds, reduce your exposure. Pain is often a warning sign of damage.
In order to understand how your hearing might be changing over time, get in touch with a hearing specialist for an exam.