When you were a teenager and turned up the radio to full volume, you weren’t thinking about how this might affect your health. You were just having fun listening to your tunes.
As you grew, you probably indulged in evenings out at loud concerts or the movies. You might have even chosen a career where loud noise is normal. Long term health problems were the furthest thing from your mind.
You more likely know differently today. Children as young as 12 can have permanent noise-induced hearing impairment. But sound is so powerful it can even be used as a weapon.
Can You Get Sick From Sound?
In short, yes. Certain sounds can evidently make you ill according to scientists and doctors. Here’s why.
How Health is Impacted by Loud Noise
The inner ear can be damaged by really loud sounds. You have little hairs that detect +
vibrations after they pass through the membrane of the eardrum. Once these little hairs are destroyed, they don’t ever regenerate or heal. This is what causes the sensorineural hearing loss that many people deal with as they age.
Over 85 dB of volume for an 8 hour period of time will start to cause permanent impairment. If you’re exposed to over 100 decibels, lasting impairment occurs within 15 minutes. A rock concert is about 120 decibels, which causes immediate, irreversible damage.
Cardiovascular wellness can also be impacted by noise. Obesity, high blood pressure, clogged arteries, and other vascular issues can be the result of increased stress hormones induced by excessively loud noise. So when individuals who are exposed to loud noise complain about memory loss and headaches, this could explain why. Cardiovascular health is strongly related to these symptoms.
Actually, one study confirmed that sound volumes that start to affect 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 Some Sound Frequencies – This is How
A few years ago, diplomats in Cuba got sick when exposed to sounds. This sound was not at a really loud volume. It could even be drowned out by a television. So how could this kind of sound make people sick?
The answer is frequency.
Even at lower volumes, significant damage can be done by certain high-frequency sound.
Have you ever cringed when someone scraped their nails on a chalkboard? Have you been driven crazy by someone continuously dragging their finger over a folded piece of paper? Does the shrill sound of a violin put you on edge?
Damage was happening to your hearing if you’ve ever felt pain from high-pitched sound. The damage could have become permanent if you’ve subjected 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. High-pitched sounds coming from trains, sensors, machinery, and other man-made devices could be emitting frequencies that do damage with too much exposure.
Your health can also be impacted by infrasound which is very low frequency sound. It can vibrate the body in such a way that you feel nauseous and disoriented. Some even get flashes of color and light that are common in migraine sufferers.
How You Can Safeguard Your Hearing
Recognize how specific sounds make you feel. If you’re feeling pain or other symptoms when you’re exposed to specific sounds, limit your exposure. If you’re experiencing pain in your ears, you’re most likely doing damage.
In order to know how your hearing might be changing over time, get in touch with a hearing specialist for an examination.