When you were 16 and cranked up the radio to full volume, you had little thought about how this could harm your health. You were simply having a good time listening to your tunes.
As you grew, you may have indulged in evenings out at loud concerts or the movies. It may even be common for you to have experienced loud noise at work. Long term health problems were the furthest thing from your mind.
You probably know differently today. Noise-induced hearing impairment can show up in children as young as 12. But did you know that sound is so formidable that it can even be used as a weapon?
Can Sound Make You Sick?
In a word, yes. Particular sounds can evidently make you sick according to doctors and scientists. Here’s the reason why.
How Health is Impacted by Loud Noise
Really loud sounds injure the inner ear. After sound passes through the membrane of the eardrum it’s picked up by little hairs in the ears. Once these little hairs are damaged, they don’t ever heal or grow back. This is what causes the sensorineural hearing loss that many people deal with as they age.
Dangerous volume starts at 85 decibels over an 8 hour time period. If you’re subjected to over 100 dB, lasting impairment takes place within 15 minutes. A loud concert is around 120 decibels, which brings about instantaneous, permanent damage.
Cardiovascular wellness can also be affected by noise. Subjection to loud noise can boost stress hormones, which can lead to High blood pressure, clogged arteries, obesity, and more. So when people who are exposed to loud noise complain about headaches and memory loss, this may explain why. Cardiovascular health is directly linked to these symptoms.
Sound as low as 45 decibels can, as reported by one study, begin to have an impact on your hormones and your heart. That’s around the volume of someone with a quiet indoor voice.
Your Health is Impacted by Certain Sound Frequencies – Here’s How
Several years ago, diplomats in Cuba became sick when subjected to sounds. The sound in Cuba wasn’t that loud. They were able to block it out with a tv. How might it have been able to make people ill?
Frequency is the answer.
Even at lower volumes, significant damage can be done by certain high-frequency sound.
Have you ever cringed when somebody scraped their nails on a chalkboard? Have you been driven nuts by somebody continuously dragging their finger across a folded piece of paper? Have you ever had to plug your ears during a violin recital?
If you’ve felt the force of high-pitched sounds, the pain you felt was actually damage being done to your hearing. The damage may have become permanent if you’ve exposed yourself to this kind of sound repeatedly for longer time periods.
Studies have also revealed that damage can happen even if you can’t hear the sound. Harmful frequencies can come from lots of common devices like sensors, trains, machinery, etc.
Your health can also be affected by infrasound which is extremely low frequency sound. The vibrations can make you feel dizzy and physically sick. Some individuals even experience migraine symptoms such as flashes of color and light.
How You Can Protect Your Hearing
Be aware of how you feel about specific sounds. Reduce your exposure if particular sounds make you feel pain or other symptoms. If you’re experiencing pain in your ears, you’re probably doing damage.
In order to understand how your hearing might be changing over time, get in touch with a hearing specialist for a hearing test.