When you were 16 and cranked the radio up to full volume, you had little thought about how this might harm your health. You just enjoyed the music.
As you got older, you probably indulged in evenings out at loud movies and concerts. You may have even chosen a job where loud noise is normal. Long term health concerns were the furthest thing from your mind.
You more likely know differently today. Noise-induced hearing impairment can appear in kids as young as 12. But did you realize that sound is so formidable that it can even be used as a weapon?
Can Sound Make You Ill?
In fact, it Can. Certain sounds can evidently cause you to get sick according to doctors and scientists. Here’s why.
How Loud Sound Affects Health
The inner ear can be damaged by very loud sounds. You have little hairs that detect +
vibrations after they go through the eardrum membrane. These hairs never grow back once they are damaged. Many people, as they age, deal with sensorineural hearing loss caused by this.
Harmful volume starts at 85 decibels over an 8 hour time frame. It only takes 15 minutes for lasting impairment to set in at 100 dB. At 120 dB, the volume of a rock concert, instantaneous, lasting damage will occur.
Cardiovascular health can also be impacted by noise. Exposure to loud sounds can increase stress hormones, which can lead to clogged arteries, obesity, high blood pressure, and more. So when people who are exposed to loud noise complain about memory loss and headaches, this may explain why. These are directly related to cardiovascular health.
In fact, one study revealed that sound volumes that start to affect the heart, and hormones are as low a 45 decibels. That’s about the volume of a person with a quiet indoor voice.
How Sound Frequency Affects Health
Cuban diplomats became sick after being subjected to certain sounds a few years ago. This sound wasn’t at a very high volume. They were able to block it out with a television. How might it have been able to make people ill?
Frequency is the answer.
Even at lower volumes, significant harm can be done by some high-frequency sound.
Does the sound of nails on a chalkboard make you cringe? Have you ever begged a co-worker to stop as they run their fingers over a folded piece of paper? Have you ever had to plug 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 subjected yourself to it, or were exposed at a high volume, then the damage may have become irreversible.
Studies have also discovered that damage can happen even if you can’t hear the sound. Harmful frequencies can come from lots of common devices like machinery, trains, sensors, etc.
Your health can also be impacted by infrasound which is very low frequency sound. It can resonate the body in such a way that the person feels nauseous and dizzy. Some even experience flashes of light and color that are typical in migraine sufferers.
Protecting Your Hearing
Be aware of how you feel about specific sounds. If you’re feeling pain or other symptoms when you’re around specific sounds, reduce your exposure. If you’re feeling pain in your ears, you’re most likely doing damage.
In order to know how your hearing could be changing over time, get in touch with a hearing specialist for an exam.